Ithaca Tompkins County Airport saved -- for now

By WBNG News

May 13, 2013 Updated May 13, 2013 at 11:29 PM EDT

Lansing, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The air traffic control tower at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport will stay open.

The Reducing Flight Delays Act restored funding to keep towers operating at 149 airports across the country.

While the airports would have remained open, flight traffic would have been handled by other regional towers and potentially disrupt flight schedules.

Tompkins County's Airport Manager Robert Nicholas said the tower's closure would have hindered the profitability of the airport.

"The general consensus was that if we had the tower close, the airlines would be less inclined to operate here," said Nicholas.

Tompkins County was especially concerned given the airport's use by the business and education community.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-23rd) said he was glad to help bring the needed funds to the Ithaca airport.

"The service it provides to Cornell University, Ithaca College, all the universities that are there, in regards to putting them on the world map with access to that area," Reed said. "The returns are significant for each dollar that's spent."

The act only restored tower funding through Sept. 30, which is the end of the federal budget year.