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FAA Closes Waukesha County Airport Traffic Control Tower

The Waukesha County traffic control tower is one of 149 towers being shut down across the nation. A total of eight towers are being shut down in Wisconsin.

The Waukesha County Airport/Crites Field traffic control tower is being shut down, along with 148 other towers across the country due to federal budget cuts.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the closures on Friday. Other Wisconsin airport towers that are being shut down include La Crosse, Janesville, Oshkosh, Milwaukee (Timmerman), Kenosha, Eau Claire and Mosinee.

Waukesha is the third busiest airport in Wisconsin. Airport General Manager Kurt Stanich told Waukesha Now the airport has 60,000 takeoffs and landings a year, adding the cuts are “unnecessary.

Waukesha County Supervisor Michael Crowley believes that closing of the "tower could jeopardize aviation safety and efficiency for the 200 aircraft based at Waukesha County Airport, which conduct 55,000 takeoffs and landings each year."

The FAA told Waukesha County Airport they are choosing to close airport towers based on the degree to which the air traffic control tower affects the “national interest,” reported General Aviation News.

The FAA will continue to fund Wisconsin airports that have commercial airline traffic.

“The bottom line is Contract Towers are safer and save money," said Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, in a release. "The FAA must reevaluate its decision, and the White House must put an end to its political charade. On March 14, several of my colleagues and I sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta questioning these closures despite considerable wasteful spending at FAA.  I intend to send a follow-up letter inquiring how much taxpayer money is being spent on the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program."

Annie Nominous March 23, 2013 at 09:42 PM
To Dirk Gutzmiller: What world are you living in when you cannot plainly see the difference in the mainstream news coverage concerning liberal politicians vs. conservative politicians? Much news is conveniently 'omitted' or not investigated when it comes to Obama and his administration. What the mainstream media did to George W. Bush doesn't even come close to their glossed-over coverage of the current, most NON-transparent president in my lifetime. Dream on, Dirk.
Annie Nominous March 23, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Dirk - you admit you have flown on corporate jets, and oftentimes, with a limo waiting on the tarmac? So when you made use of the private jet system, I guess it was okay then? Were you doing this in a purely volunteer capacity and paying for your air ticket or was the evil corporation sharing their profits with you and paying you, feeding you, and providing your air travel? Most people will never fly on a corporate jet in their lifetimes, but those people that do fly on corporate jets usually employ many people.
Annie Nominous March 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Dirk G. - one last word...if you politically resent and control and regulate successful and profitable US businesses, then you will see layoffs and job cuts and companies leaving the country. It is already happening. Check out www.dailyjobcuts.com
Annie Nominous March 23, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Barb V - I never used the word "parasites." There is a reason the economy is so bad for so many, especially young adults...look who most of them voted for. I think you need to direct your anger in the right direction.
Steve ® March 24, 2013 at 12:36 AM
We should cut the FAA towers so the sky's are less safe for everyone, right Dirk? Maybe the evil rich should have their own private police service too. They call 922 instead. You're making silly arguments here trying to defend a failed leaded and ideology. They pay for the leaches receiving free phones and food and strippers and pay for the entire police and FAA public safety departments. Cry more.
Community Lady March 24, 2013 at 06:09 AM
Annie, Sounds great! Let's cut all welfare for business, then. Have a REAL free market. That's what you're saying, right? No subsidies, no welfare, for anyone, any person, any entity? For example, no tax loopholes for corporations who outsource jobs overseas. We need that money here. All other legal persons have to pay their fair share. What a relief! That will definitely help balance the national budget. Would you mind writing McConnell and Boehner? After all, there are three branches of government....sillies! And somewhere in the middle, the twain have met.
Dirk Gutzmiller March 24, 2013 at 03:37 PM
@Annie - I got some rides on corporate jets because higher executives made the arrangements and wanted me along for some meetings. I have been there, corporate flying is generally a convenience and questionable use of shareholder and taxpayer money. It is also less safe, I have been on corporate flights where I was sitting in the co-pilot seat as a passenger. You need to get a fresh approach. All the uber conservative commenters try to find some kind of hypocrisy when liberals or moderates disagree with them. When, as you demonstrate, the Tea Party's ox gets gored, as with these optional control towers, they scream like stuck pigs for restoration of goverment funding.
Dirk Gutzmiller March 24, 2013 at 03:48 PM
@Steve - The corporations and rich individuals can easily fund a private arrangement for taking off and landing their planes. They do not need to rely on hardworking middle class taxpayers to fund their perks and ego trips. Why do you get so upset when lack of government funding touches the lives of the rich and famous? You consistenly come across as a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people, to put it graciously.
Dirk Gutzmiller March 24, 2013 at 03:59 PM
@Annie - Your argument about the "liberal" media dates to at least Richard Nixon. Since then, there are now hundreds of cable tv channels, many, many hate talk radio stations, satellite radio for the car, the internet, etc. You can literally choose your own news source 24/7. You are obviously getting this "liberal media" thing from some "conservative media" source, like Fox, Rush or his many aspirants. There is an abundance of such "conservative media" like this today. We do not have just 3 networks anymore, Granny. Get with it.
Annie Nominous March 24, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Dirk and Community Lady - From reading your posts, your ideal America would be that everybody is equal...we all live in the same type of house (apartment), we all take public transportation or else everyone is guaranteed a government-issued sub-compact car, we all eat the same kind of basic food - bread, milk, and occasional meat; everyone is paid the same wage - either from working for the government or from a government welfare program, government controls all media, government owns and operates one national (and the only) airline, school children will be fed three meals/day at the government-run schools, and the government controls all businesses so no evil corporations can make any profits, except of course, for the government. We are very close to government-run healthcare, so your dreams may come true. Yipee! Oh yes, and any sugary drink over 16 oz. will be banned, and websites, such as this one, will no longer be allowed to publish people's opinions.
red March 24, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Back when the economy was good these fast food restaurants would have offered above minimum wage because there was competition for labor. Now that we are in permanent recession workers are competing for jobs. Of course - when peole follow Obama's lead and indulge in class warfare (e.g. calling economically disadvantaged "parasites" - we are not referring to honest people who can't get onto the first rung in our economy. Instead we are referring to those who make the choice to not try. Our culture used to really approve of all work as meaningful and ennobling. Now libs have demeaned work and excused dependency. This is damaging to our culture and to those in whom liberals have encouraged dependency. Unlike Obama, we would like to see the economy grow to give the kids you cite a chance to begin their working lives. It is sad that your acquaintances are not able to find permanent jobs. The vast majority of minimum wage jobs are (used to be) kids though and are living at home so they don't need higher wages. My kids have struggled and they were forced to move home. Perhaps your acquaintences are making bad decisions.
red March 24, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Yes, Barb wants this to be about parasites and people she knows rather than how our government catastrophically mispends money. Anybody hear about the Nat Inst Drug Abuse spending 3.6 million on studying monkeys smoking PCP and Meth? http://menomoneefalls.patch.com/articles/faa-closes-waukesha-county-airport-traffic-control-tower?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001#comment_6794583
red March 24, 2013 at 07:22 PM
---The so-called "liberal" mainstream media have been owned by giant profit-making,, conservative corporations for many years now. Total Trope. The mainstream media continues to cheerlead and protect Democrats and BigGovernment despite mounting losses in viewership and circulation. You guys obsess on Fox News when the truth is Fox is only slightly left of center while the rest of the media is falling off the edge. This sequester c*&# is just the last example. Only conservative outlets are letting us compare the continuing catastrophic waste of BigGovernment against the hysteric, threatening assessment of what sequester was going to do to 'we the people'. Does one in ten Americans realize that with the sequester we are still spending more money than last year?
red March 24, 2013 at 07:24 PM
I believe that JimB has a point. I think studies do show that General Aviation fees are lower than Commercial Aviation when infact GA is more resource intensive. Increasing these fees then could be an example of corporate welfare that should be eliminated. Government has to get smarter and more fair in all ways.
red March 24, 2013 at 07:27 PM
---There is an abundance of such "conservative media" like this today. We do not have just 3 networks anymore, Granny. Get with it. Sure, but your Democratic liberal low-information voters (who voted uniformly for our Socialist president only get there news from the Big 3, Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman and Jon Stewart.
red March 24, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Would you mind writing McConnell and Boehner? After all, there are three branches of government....sillies! Right... there's plenty of corporate welfare being initiated by Democrats too. By the way has Obama reversed shipping jobs overseas? His energy and pro-labor policies are resisting the energy driving trend of bringing jobs back to the US. http://mhlnews.com/archive/shale-gas-could-lower-us-manufacturing-costs-drive-re-shoring
red March 24, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Conservative deficit hawk Sen. Tom Coburn tried yesterday to shrink a federal program that uses taxpayer money to help U.S. companies advertise and sell agricultural products overseas. But look at the vote breakdown: Republicans voted 28 to 18 to cut the program. Democrats voted 51-to-2 against the cuts, thus siding with the agribusiness lobby. Lets all pay attention and force both parties to end corporate welfare.
red March 24, 2013 at 07:36 PM
meant to provide a link where Democrats voted FOR corporate welfare. Oh, further examples.... Obama giving big green energy subsidies to campaign donors, who's companies fail at an alarming rate though the donors never lose money. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/13/how-obama-s-alternative-energy-programs-became-green-graft.html
red March 24, 2013 at 09:05 PM
No - BigGovernment can't cut any costs............ Vice President Biden has been flying home to Wilmington, Delaware most weekends at enormous expense to taxpayers, even though he has an exclusive government-provided residence in Washington. Biden himself acknowledged the flights during recent remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General, noting that the sequester would force him to temporarily alter his expensive habit and use the train instead. Not fit for the weekends Not fit for the weekends According to reports, Biden generally uses Air Force Two to get to Wilmington. The cost of flying Air Force Two, a military version of the Boeing 757-200, amounts to about $8,800 per hour, according to the most recent federal data. The distance between Washington and Wilmington is only about a hundred miles, but it’s safe to assume that between flying time and the time spent on the takeoff and landing, the total flight takes at least 45 minutes. That would amount to a roundtrip cost to taxpayers of about $13,200. This price still is conservative, though, because it doesn’t include the cost of transporting Biden to and from the plane, both in Washington and Delaware. http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2013/03/23/biden-flying-home-weekends/
red March 24, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Duh, could Biden motorcade for 100 miles with maybe 6 secret service escorts?
Ron Taylor March 24, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Inc. (PATCO For Immediate Release "Air Safety at Risk" The decision by Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA), Michael Huerta, to close down 149 Federal Contract Towers (FCT’s) due to sequestration is unjustified, absurd and needs to be stopped. The FCT program has been around for almost 30 years and has been lauded by the DOT’s Inspector General as highly efficient, cost effective and safe. The Air Traffic Controllers that man these towers are highly professional, and meet or exceed the same jobs requirements as FAA controllers. They provide a critical service at their respective community airports to ensure that "air safety" is the number one priority. Contrary to what the FAA says, the closing of these towers will seriously jeopardize "air safety" and the overall efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). The "No Margin for Error" slogan is out the door because the control towers will not be manned. Beyond the tower closure, the rippling effect will cause, serious delays, confusion and loss of revenues to local airports and the business community as a whole. The FAA's decision to close control towers is wrong, and their sanity on this issue should be called into question. Ron Taylor President PATCO www.patco81.com
Dirk Gutzmiller March 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM
@red - Fox is left of center? And the giant media companies are conservative but are supporting Democrats and big government even though they lose money doing so? And all the other mainstream media are falling off the left edge? The “Liberal Media”, is a tiresome and wholly inaccurate rant that is the centerpiece of right-wing propaganda, and miserably outdated.
Annie Nominous March 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Yes, there are great risks involved. And some of these airports affected have commercial flights. Windshear (microbursts) alerts, for example, are transmitted from the air traffic control tower to the pilots because the sensors are on the ground around the airport. Also, many future (commercial) pilots learn to fly in and out of smaller airports. This is all about "creating visible chaos" by those in power in response to sequestration (suspending White House tours, releasing thousands of illegal detainees into the streets, etc.) This also adversely affects medical flights (seriously-ill people/organ transplants). Just because a person is not directly affected by the closures, and also resents private aircraft and hates profitable corporations, does not mean that person will not eventually be affected by these closures (safety, economically, medically, shortage of future pilots, etc.)
atthec44 March 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM
"they are offered $8/hr. and 30 hours or less per week." This couldn't have anything to do with Obamacare requiring that employers provide insurance to employees working more than 30 hours per week, could it?
red March 25, 2013 at 03:08 AM
The “Liberal Media”, is a tiresome and wholly inaccurate rant that is the centerpiece of right-wing propaganda, and miserably outdated. Dirkster, its all Obama fellation all the time. There are plenty of studies showing the liberal bias of the mainstream media. Your little repetition doesn't change the truth. The media for example ganged up on Romney during the campaign while ignoring gaffes and national security disasters (Benghazi) of the Light Bringer. As noted by National Review Online, all but one of the questions asked of Gov. Romney had to do with his “tone” and/or whether he thought it was a good idea to criticize the administration’s initial response to the attack on the Cairo embassy. Not a single reporter asked Romney what he thinks the U.S. should do going forward. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/09/12/hot-mic-moment-reporters-heard-planning-questions-for-romney-before-presser/ As predicted by many on the right, presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley of CNN Tuesday evening came to the aid of President Obama, lending clear support to his effort to deceptively suggest that he had on Sept. 12 characterized the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi consulate as terrorism. http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/10/17/crowley-lends-support-obamas-benghazi-deception/ You have to be a low information voter not to see it.
red March 25, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Many airports have towers that are not staffed. The pilots revert to visual flight rules. This is the administration calling out the boogeyman and the media playing along. Timmerman in Milwaukee - Really? I would never guessed that it was staffed. How many flights a day?
Annie Nominous March 25, 2013 at 07:14 AM
red - Go park your car by this airport and observe...you may be surprised! It is a busy airport relative to its size. Remember...future pilots have to begin training somewhere and it is not Mitchell or O'Hare or La Guardia, etc..
Dirk Gutzmiller March 26, 2013 at 03:25 PM
@red - Oh get off it, get real, you are cherrypicking news stories and acting out as a bad information voter. If anyone turns the radio, and randomly spins the dial, particularly AM, they can listen to any number of ultraconservative radio jabberers, promoting hatred, bigotry, fear and dehumanization. Key modern practitioners include and have included Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to name a few, and there are many more. They have a license to attack a specific group of people on the public airways without permitting any opportunity for opposing views on the same show or even station. (Unfair and unbalanced in every way.) And this is not counting most of the "Christian" stations where I have learned that Jesus was ultraconservative politically and supported the moneychangers. And that is just ultraconservative radio. If space allowed, I could go into TV, the internet and print media. But moderates and liberals are not trying to promote laws to restrict free speech in the media like you. So get off it red. Your conspiracy theory is apparently a paranoid delusion. You are stuck in the past and reading issues off some Republican issues list from way back,. You would be scary if you were not so irrelevant in these modern times.
Dirk Gutzmiller March 26, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Strange bedfellows indeed. Annie Nominous and the Teamsters Union. Just goes to show, a Tea Partier will go to great lengths and jump chasms to get or preserve government funding for their own perks and entitlements.
Annie Nominous March 26, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Dirk - you are the one person posting on this story that actually has enjoyed the "perks" of corporate jet travel, yet you name-call and accuse falsely because you have no valid points to counter the truth of the matter. Enjoy your socialist utopia that is encroaching this country by the day. I have no connection to Crites Field and its "perks," but I do care about the local economy, and now even more highly trained, technical employees, and other support jobs, will be getting cut due to the planned closure of the Crites Field tower. Additionally, local companies could possibly relocate (out-of-state) if local transportation is not optimal...it is called running a business and making a profit to pay the employees, Dirk. (GE Medical, Quad Graphics, Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, Manpower, Kohl’s Corp., Harley-Davidson, Rockwell Automation and Fiserv, Inc., etc.)

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