WASHINGTON -- Air traffic control facilities for Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach would be closed if Congress doesn't act to avoid automatic across-the-board spending cuts by next Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said yesterday.
Gabreski is on a list LaHood released of about 240 small airports whose control towers would be shut if the Federal Aviation Administration has to reduce spending by $600 million under the automatic cuts.
Gabreski manager Anthony Ceglio said closing the tower would make operations less safe, and could hurt local services such as fuel sales and catering if corporate jets go elsewhere.
Gabreski's control tower is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and staffed by two shifts of two or three air traffic controllers and a manager, Ceglio said.
"Closing the tower could result in delays and potentially unsafe conditions in the air, especially during inclement weather and high aircraft volume," Bishop said.