Remember how I said I have become the local media “go-to” guy for aviation stuff? Well, the same guy who called me about the Steve Fossett thing called me today to ask about the FAA’s proposal to close a bunch of towers after midnight on some of the less-busy airports.
When I read about this on AvFlash, I didn’t bother looking at the list of airports, but I assumed Rochester was going to be one of them. The airport is nearly dead at night, except for the occassional frieght dog in an AzTruck and the FedEx jet. So when this guy called, I said “No big deal”, only much wordier than that. I said there are ten times as many non-towered airports as towered airports out there, so pilots know how to handle the lack of a control tower just fine. (Actually, come to think of it, there are probably 100 times as many. I should look that up on the AOPA web site. Ok, not bad. According to the “GA (General Aviation) Serving America” web site, there are 5200 public use airports, 550 served by airlines, so my factor of ten is probably not too far off.)
However, saying “no big deal” to a tower closure, even a part-time closure, is not going to endear me to the members of the air traffic controllers union. I guess I’d better not let anybody in the air traffic controllers union know who I am on the radio for a while, lest they re-route me via Timbuktu.