Courtesy of the Rome (NY) Sentinel:
The Federal Aviation Administration is consolidating the radar approach control center at Griffiss with the operations at Syracuse’s airport this weekend.
The air control tower that handles landings and takeoffs at Griffiss will continue to operate as usual. A total of eight jobs at Griffiss will be affected. All of the controllers and the site manager will remain with the FAA at other locations.
“It just not economically feasible to keep it going,” Jim Cook, manager of the facility at Syracuse’s Hancock Airport said today. He points to the air traffic volume at Griffiss and need to invest in the facility.
“This is something we’ve done around the country,” said Jim Peters of FAA’s public affairs office.
The justification consists of (1) money and (2) precedence.
All around the country, officials are looking for shovel-ready projects to use for economic stimulus, and we’re going to close an approach control because it needs a new roof?
Approach controls have been combined before in situations where the proximity of the airports threads the routes together with such complexity that one facility can handle it better than two or three. The example is Baltimore, Dulles, and National – their routes are intertwined, Dulles climbs Baltimore departures and descends National arrivals, etc. Combining that situation into PCT makes sense. Removing and relocating existing approach controls for cost-savings is not a routine practice.
People who think the timeline for splitting facilities and relocating Approach controls is far off in the future, pie-in-the-sky in the by and by, might consider that it’s already started and the change is underway.
These things build a momentum of their own. Future spokespersons will offer the Griffiss split/relocation as evidence that this is “no big thing”.
It’s another nail in the coffin.