Yakima's Airport Control Tower Could Close - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima's Airport Control Tower Could Close

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YAKIMA, Wash.--The Yakima Airport made the list. It's one of the 100 Air Traffic Control Towers that could potentially shut down if automatic spending cuts go through this Friday.

City Manager Tony O'Rourke said he hopes it won't come down to this, but if the control tower closes flights will continue to take off and land as normal.

He said the bigger issue will be the control tower operations at Sea-Tac. If they see a reduction in air traffic controllers, that could cause some flight delays between Yakima and Seattle.

The budget cuts could also impact the number of TSA Officers in the Yakima Airport, but this isn't a big concern for the city.

"If that time was doubled, you're still going through the Yakima screening process much faster than you would go through any major airport," said O'Rourke.

If the control tower is forced to shut down, it wouldn't take effect until April. Then the Yakima Airport staff would use air traffic controllers in Seattle to schedule air time.

Other cities that could lose their airport control towers include Tacoma, Moses Lake and Walla Walla.

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