As of Sunday, February 24, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett's pilots could soon have to manage take-offs and landings at Briscoe Field on their own.
Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville is among a list of 100 airports nationwide, where air traffic control towers could close if an upcoming federal sequestration goes through.
The $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts, set up during fiscal cliff negotiations, is set for March 1, unless Congress takes action. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said major airports could experience delays due to the cuts, but smaller airports would lose air traffic control support altogether.
A county spokesman confirmed the possible closure, which also could impact airports in Cobb and Fulton counties as well as in Athens, Columbus, Macon and Albany.
"If the tower is closed, the airport can still operate and the airport would remain open," county spokesman Joe Sorenson said. "The tower currently operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. If closed, pilots would not be able to take off and land with the assistance of the tower during that window, (so) 24-hour operations would be the same as the current period from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.