FAA shutter having little effect on Briscoe Field

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Air traffic controllers are still on duty at Lawrenceville's Briscoe Field, despite a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration during a congressional battle.

According to Gwinnett Deputy Transportation Director David Tucker, the shutdown is having a minimal impact on the county's general aviation airport, since people whose jobs concern safety are still reporting for duty.

"The tower is still operational," Tucker said of the control tower, which is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. "The critical elements such as safety will remain."

Tucker said the county is likely only to feel the impact of the shutdown if it continues for a long period of time. If so, grants could be affected.

The county's privatization process could also have some problems if the shutdown is prolonged.

A report on the possible request for proposals is expected to come next week, Tucker said. While the county is not obligated to report to the FAA until a contractor -- if any -- is chosen, Tucker said the county and its consultant have made a point to keep the agency abreast of the project.

Despite a public outcry, officials have voted to move forward with the consideration of commercial flights at Briscoe Field.