FAA to Close Beverly Airport Control Tower
The tower in Beverly is one of 149 regional airport control towers to close starting next month due to budget cuts.
The control tower at Beverly Airport will be one of the 149 regional airport control towers that will close starting in April, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Friday..
About half of Beverly Airport is in Beverly.
The closures are a result of budget cuts. The FAA was forced to cut nearly $600 million dollars from their $48 billion budget according to CNN.com.
The FAA plans to begin shutting down control towers nationwide on April 7. It should take four weeks close all of the towers.
At Monday night's City Council meeting, Airport Manager Robert Mezzetti said the 415-acre airport, which sits in Beverly, Danvers and Wenham, could remain open and operating, as it did before the current control tower was constructed in 1974.
Without air traffic controllers, pilot will have to work out takeoffs, landings and taxing among themselves using a common frequency known as Unicom. Pilots would have to announce over the frequency when they are 10 miles away from the airport, on approach, getting ready to land, starting to taxi and other movements. It is a system that is used at other, smaller airport across the country and during the overnights in Beverly.
The biggest impact in Beverly would be that some corporate jets might not land in Beverly if their operating procedures bar them from landing at an airport with an unmanned tower.
“It would be up to a particular corporation that has a jet,” Mezzetti said.
In the case of an emergency, there would still be airport staff at the airport and at the fixed-based operator until 10 p.m. Plus, Boston Approach Control in Nashua, N.H. monitors all aircraft in the region and would notify first responders in Beverly, Danvers and Wenham in the case of an emergency.
Back in February, Mezzetti told Patch he has already begun making plans in case the control tower is closed, meeting with regular users and the flight schools that operate at the airport to discuss the use of Unicom and the procedures.