Military drones piloted from Syracuse attack targets in Afghanistan. Griffiss airport in Rome tapped to test the safety of commercial drones. With little fanfare upstate New York has become central to adaptation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Last night, the controversy over drones came to Utica.
New York's U.S. Senators have stepped in hoping to stave off the June 15th closure of two airport control towers in Central New York.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are asking Washington to keep Griffiss International Airport in Oneida County and Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport in Tompkins County open. The Senators wrote to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta encouraging him to keep the towers open --- they say the towers are essential to the Central New York economy and to security in the Northeast.
The Federal Aviation Administration has decided which federal contract air-traffic control towers will close. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the closures come because of required cuts under sequestration.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FAA decided that 149 federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. The number is 40 fewer than initially thought, and does not include control towers that are federally staffed.