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.
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.