YAKIMA, Wash.-- Officials at the Yakima Air Terminal are breathing a sigh of relief after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it won't be closing Yakima's air traffic control tower.
If the FAA would have continued with the June 15th closure, airport officials say five local air traffic controllers would have lost their jobs.
The FAA decided to close 149 towers across the country, including the one in Yakima, to cut costs as part of the across the board spending reductions known as sequester.
Officials say without the towers, safety at our local airports would have suffered, and passengers flying in and out could have definitely seen delays.
"Purpose of air traffic control towers are to efficiently and effectively route air craft to and from the airport, so that allows the local aircraft as well as our airlines to operate efficiently and effectively our of the airport," said Rob Peterson, the interim airport manager.
Peterson says the air terminal did have a contingency plan in place to minimize the impact on passengers, but now that the closure is off the table, he says the airport can continue to run like normal. Good news for travelers and local pilots.