Operators at Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Conn., are stepping up efforts to keep their ATC tower open after withdrawal of federal funding. Kyle Slover, COO of local FBO Volo Aviation, told AIN that discussions about options for keeping the tower open on a privately funded basis were already under way before the FAA’s March 22 announcement that 149 towers are to close at U.S. airports beginning April 7.
The city of Bridgeport, Conn., received court approval to buy an acre
of land next to Sikorsky Memorial Airport and plans to build an engineered materials arresting system (Emas) safety area for Runway 6/24. According to NBAA, “The addition of an Emas runway safety area at BDR has been a source of conflict for nearly a decade because the airport is owned by Bridgeport but located in Stratford.”
NBAA said Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), Conn., is struggling financially and the local board of aldermen has asked the FAA what the consequences would be if the airport closed. The FAA responded that the ramifications would be considerable.
About 3,600 Sikorsky Aircraft workers in Connecticut and Florida went on strike on February 20, voting a tentative agreement down 2,045 to 1,072 mainly because of increased health insurance costs. The workers–represented by IBT Local 1150–picketed at the company’s headquarters in Stratford, Conn., as well as at Sikorsky’s facilities in West Haven, Bridgeport and Shelton, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla.