The Real Deal Miami

Sequestration to close Miami airport towers

March 04, 2013 10:00AM

Opa-locka Airport

Two Miami airport towers could be shuttered under sequestration, the mandated cuts in federal spending that took hold on March 1, the Miami Herald reported. Towers serving private pilots and corporate aircrafts at the Opa-locka Airport in Miami-Dade and North Perry Airport in Broward could be closed as soon as April, according to officials in the two counties.

Federal transportation officials told the Herald that safety won’t be compromised and that small planes routinely land in airports without operating control towers. But corporate jet pilots and some Miami airport officials are still concerned that closing the towers is unsafe.

“It becomes a safety issue,’’ Marc Henderson, a spokesman at Miami International Airport, a county agency that also supervises Opa-locka, said. “Planes that are coming and going will have to be a little bit more vigilant.”

Under sequestration the Federal Aviation Administration will be forced to cut $600 million from its $48 billion budget. [Miami Herald]Christopher Cameron