Thursday, October 23, 2014

News
Picente makes case to FAA to keep Air Control Tower at Griffiss
By NEWSChannel 2 Staff


ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - On Tuesday, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente delivered an official letter of appeal to the FAA, laying out the reasons he feels the Air Control Tower at Griffiss International Airport should remain open.

The FAA says it is considering "national interest" when determining which towers to keep open across the country.

In the letter, the County Executive states that the closing of the tower would affect national interest that includes a loss of significant investment dollars from the FAA and Oneida County, saying that Griffiss is essential to military training operations and disaster relief efforts. Picente also states that the dollars spent by the FAA and Oneida County would essentially be lost if this tower is closed.

Between both entities, $72 million has been spent in the Griffiss airport facility, Picente said.

"Cutting funding for this tower is a mistake," Picente stated. "Without this tower the Military loses a valuable training site that cannot be replaced as well as an invaluable staging area for disaster relief. In addition the FAA and, by default, Oneida County will have lost $72 Million we can never get back."

Picente also sent letters to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand as well as Congressman Hanna requesting their assistance. Picente also contacted State Legislators for assistance.

"We are working with our state legislators and our federal representatives and have asked them to use their full force and weight to keep this tower open," Picente stated. "Everyone is on the same page, this tower needs to stay open."