Stinson Municipal Airport tower to close in April

Stinson closure part of FAA sequestration plan


The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that the tower at Stinson Municipal Airport will close due to sequestration.

Pilots who use the airport said the closure will have an impact on safety.

According to Michael Welborn, KSAT 12's helicopter pilot, it's not a question if an accident will happen, but when it will occur.

"There are times when you have five or six airplanes in the air, and there's going to be a lot of chatter," Welborne said. "It's going to be very confusing, I believe. In my opinion, they're going to have a major accident out here because of this tower not being open."

Currently, the tower is unmanned from 10 p.m. to 7 p.m. During that time, a communication system allows pilots to let each other know what they are doing.

Municipal airports in New Braunfels and San Marcos are also among 149 towers on the nationwide closure list.

The closures are expected to be conducted over a four-week span beginning April 7.

"We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions," Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a news release. "Unfortunately, we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration."

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the agency will work with airports and operators to make sure "procedures are in place to maintain a high level of safety at non-towered airports."