Staff of Idaho's U.S. Congressional delegation are in Lewiston this morning to tour the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, which has been targeted along with three other Idaho airports to have their control towers shut down by the federal funding sequestration gridlock.
Citydesk reported March 23 that airport control towers in Lewiston, Hailey, Idaho Falls and Pocatello are on a list of 149 air traffic towers slated to be shut down in early May by the Federal Aviation Administration. The cuts will affect airports with fewer than 150,000 flights per year and fewer than 10,000 commercial flights.
But this morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Lewiston Mayor Kevin Poole has asked officials at his local airport to provide a cost estimate of what it would take to keep the control tower open. Whether the City of Lewiston could afford to foot the bill is a separate matter, but Poole told his City Council that it would be good information to have.
Meanwhile, a Lewiston group calling itself Friends of the Airport is conducting a tour of the airport today for congressional staff in order to ramp up discussions of the benefits of the airport and the critical nature of shutting down of the tower.