Officials attempt to keep Nez Perce County Air Traffic Control Tower open

Officials attempt to keep Nez Perce County Air Traffic Control Tower open
LEWISTON, ID - Due to the federal sequestration, 149 air traffic control towers around the country face closure, including one in Lewiston.

"The confusion will start almost immediately," said Airport Manager Robin Turner.

In a continued attempt to save the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Air Traffic Control Tower, local Lewiston officials gathered Tuesday to see what the next step is to try and keep the tower open.

"It's real easy to say that from Washington DC but carrying that through in a way that doesn't impact airport safety is an entirely different concept," said Turner.

The Airport Authority Board members, representatives from the Lewiston City Council and the County Commissioners sought advice from the Nez Perce County Prosecuting Attorneys during the meeting. And while other airports are filling lawsuits, Deputy Prosecutor Nance Ceccarelli and Prosecutor Dan Spickler say that filing a lawsuit or joining in on a lawsuit against the FAA is not monetarily possible.

The board agreed Tuesday to write a letter requesting a stay to the secretary of the FAA. An important step in the process, but a letter that may go unanswered as 150 other towers across the country face the same demise.

"This tower is a vital part of our community and of course this airport," said Wendy.

The tower is currently scheduled to close May 5th, at which point pilots flying into the airport will have to direct themselves.

The board also approved an increase in contributions to the U.S. Contract Tower Association Tuesday to boost membership support.