Dothan, AL - Dothan Regional Airport leaders can move forward with plans to keep the control tower open.
A tele-conference with the Federal Aviation Administration provided some answers.
On May 5, federal funds will be cut off to the Dothan Regional Airport control tower. But airport director Art Morris is feeling more confident about the future.
“It’s great relief to at least know we have a solution and a path to go on,” said Morris. “We got enough answers that I think Dothan at least can proceed in a direction to keep the tower open."
First, it’s actually feasible to keep the tower open privately. Also, the FAA said the airport will be able to use the equipment already in the tower.
But they are still trying to determine how much it will cost to operate.
“We've got a good grasp of the labor costs and we're going to balance that with the maintenance costs.”
Labor costs will be $300,000 to $400,000 a year.
Morris is waiting on how much it will cost if the FAA maintains the equipment and is then reimbursed. He’ll weigh that number against other contractors’ bids. Ultimately, he wants the most cost-effective solution.
In the end, he says there’s a good side to this.
“It will take us off the federal contract program. That means the government can never threaten us again and close the tower down because we'll be in control of it. It may cost us a little money, but we'll be in control of it,” said Morris.
If they can get all of their questions answered this week. Airport officials could make a decision on labor and maintenance contractors sometime in the next two weeks.