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Ohio State airport to stop receiving Federal Aviation Administration funding

The Ohio State University Airport air traffic control tower is losing its funding.

The air traffic control tower was on the list of towers that will cease to be funded by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The list of 149 airports is part of the FAA’s sequestration implementation plan.

The sequester is a group of cuts to federal spending that took effect March 1. The cuts were passed as part of Budget Control Act of 2011, and include defense spending cuts, domestic discretionary cuts and Medicare cuts, according to an article by the Washington Post.

The FAA’s closure plan begins April 7 and is scheduled to take four weeks.

OSU, however, will continue self-funding its air traffic control tower into May as necessary to “avoid disruption to our flight education students, as well as the numerous corporate and private operators that use the airport on a regular basis,” according to a university press release.

The tower will also remain open to host the National Intercollegiate Flight Association’s annual SAFECON flight competition May 6-11, according to the release.

Specific details and dates related to the “possible closure” will not be announced by OSU until the FAA issues “specific instructions,” according to the release.

OSU will also “explore all options to continue air traffic control functions.” The airport oversees about 70,000 takeoffs and landings per year with the eight air traffic controllers that are contracted to support the airport’s operations, according to the release.

The Ohio State University Airport was started as a flight training facility for military and civilian pilots in 1943. The airport operates as a self-supporting entity of OSU through the College of Engineering, according to the release. 

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