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Lakeland Linder explores options for control tower funding | News

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Lakeland Linder explores options for control tower funding
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Lakeland, Florida -- The Federal Aviation Administration is cutting off funding next month, but Lakeland Linder's Airport Director says they're exploring options to keep the control tower open.

Both Lakeland Linder and St. Pete's Albert Whitted are among the 149 airports that will no longer receive federal funds for air traffic controllers in their contract towers.

But with Linder on track for 100,000 operations this year and a 27 percent increase in air traffic, the airport's director says they're getting estimates and taking a look at the budget.

"All these aircrafts coming in and out of this airport aren't going at the same speed. If they were -- and had all the same characteristics -- it's a little bit easier to handle but we have aircraft moving at 60 knots, we have aircraft flying in at 160 knots and having to sequence all that together is our number one concern," says Airport Director Gene Conrad.

Conrad stresses no matter what happens with the tower funding, the airport is NOT shutting down altogether, nor using Lakeland taxpayer funds. Management plans to keep the tower open through the rest of the fiscal year.

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