Aviation attorney and Arizona State University Professor Michael Pearson said the skies are as safe as they’ve ever been, despite the FAA announcement that 149 control towers would be shut down.
Four of the towers are in Arizona: Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, Glendale Municipal Airport, Laughlin-Bullhead International Airport and Ryan Field in Tucson. The announcement was made last week.
Closures will begin to take effect April 7.
The decision made some people nervous about pilots directing air traffic themselves.
“This isn’t a new thing. This goes on at airports across the country that do not have air-traffic controllers,” said Pearson.
“A lot of commercial airports with air-traffic controllers will lose their controlling staffing at certain time, but commercial flights will come in after the controllers are off and land at the airport.”
The decision to close the control towers is all part of a larger political game, according to Pearson.
As a former control-tower operator, he said he’s seen the federal agency try to scare the public with similar rhetoric.
“Lots of folks travel and lots of folks don’t know the ins and outs of the way the FAA operates and the way the system operates,” Pearson said. “So they threaten to close certain facilities and people get nervous, they talk to their politicians to bend to the will.”
As for his students who want to become tower-control operators, Pearson has been telling them jobs will still be there.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments