You can blame it on the sequester. You remember it, right? When Washington lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget so massive cuts automatically kicked in, including a $600 million slice from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA planned to close 13 regional airport towers in Texas because funding to pay air traffic controllers would run dry.
The cut list included Dallas Executive Airport and the Collin County Airport in McKinney. Both are used by private travelers and corporations–including Costco, Target, Walmart, Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard.
Executive was scheduled to close April 7th while Collin County Airport was set to close April 21st.
TxDOT officials say the emergency funding will cost about $750,000.00 a month and in 90 days they’ll reevaluate the situation.
Picking up the tab for an entire year would cost a reported $7 million.
Why TxDOT? Because it’s responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road plus rail and air transportation. TxDOT officials say the emergency cash will come from the general aviation fund with no money being diverted from roads or road construction projects.
While TxDOT intends to pick up the tab nothing will be finalized until an emergency meeting before the Texas Transportation Commission and even if approved spending details will have to ironed out fast because three days later Dallas Executive Airport will run out of federal money to keep paying air traffic controllers.
Until then, everything is up in the air.