AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Transportation voted Thursday to keep air traffic control towers open for 90 days at 14 small airports when those facilities lose money next month.
Airports in Central Texas affected by the transportation department's action include ones in Georgetown, New Braunfels, Waco and College Station.
But it's not just the airports alone that will be effected; businesses that rely heavily on the traffic they bring in are also on edge about the possibility of towers closing down.
In Georgetown, aviation company Aero-Centex, is one of 21 businesses that call the airport home.
Fueling jets, preparing pilots for take off, and providing hangars for visiting aircrafts, are tasks that keep the money rolling in for Aero-Centex.
Without the air traffic control tower the company fears that many of their corporate clients will take their big bucks elsewhere.
"Business is going great as of right now," said Connie Baker, a manager at Aero-Centex. "If the towers close it would really effect us though."
Gov. Rick Perry had asked the agency to step in when the federal budget cuts take place at the end of the week.
Officials estimate it would cost about $7 million a year to keep the towers open. Perry and transportation officials say keeping the towers operating is important for safety and commerce in Texas.
But money isn't the only concern for Georgetown Airport manager, Sarah Hinley.
"It's a safety issue one life lost at your airport is too many and it's also an economic impact," said Hinley.
Many are concerned that without the air traffic towers pilots will be left to fend for themselves. And with big and small planes landing at the same time the risk of accidents are greater.
After the 90 day period, TXDOT will re-evaluate whether they will continue funding the towers.If they decide not to, it will be up to the individual cities to decide how the towers will be funded and whether they will remain open or closed.
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