HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The airport director for Huntington Tri-State Airport is calling the decision from the Federal Aviation Administration to continue air traffic control tower hours at the site 24/7 the “correct” decision.
“It’s a necessary level of safety that we need for all of our airport users,” said Brent Brown, airport director.
Last week, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced no cuts would be made to the current hours.
The decision followed the release of an FAA memo in October which included a proposal to eliminate staffing hours between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at Huntington Tri-State Airport.
“It would have been a huge detriment to the airport and the community had they continued with this process to reduce the hours and so it was a huge relief, not just to the airport, but to all the users and tenants,” said Brown.
Huntington Tri-State Airport handles commercial airline, air cargo, military and general aviation traffic.
Commercial flights are available to Charlotte, N.C. and Myrtle Beach, S.C. plus Orlando, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Punta Gorda and Destin, Fl. through Allegiant Air and American Airlines.
The Huntington Jet Center is located next to the terminal.
“We have a late American Airlines flight. We tend to get some late Allegiant flights, particularly when there’s adverse weather, and we do get a late FedEx flight and then when you add all of our medical flights, those kind of come in unscheduled,” Brown said.
“It’s absolutely necessary to have an operating tower late into the evenings and the early mornings.”
Last month, the FAA dropped consideration of a similar proposal to alter air traffic control tower hours at Yeager Airport in Charleston.