With federal budget cuts in effect, 149 control towers are closing across the United States. Sawyer International Airport's tower is on the list. Starting April 7, a four-week phase out process of the control towers will begin. There are currently five controllers and supervisors on staff at Sawyer's control tower. Sawyer says the FAA hasn't given an exact date on when their tower will close.
"Sawyer will remain open. We'll still have airline flights coming in and out. Indirectly, yes, there's a layer of safety that the tower adds. They create a seamless line of communication between staff on the ground and the aircraft inbound," said Airport Manager, Duane Duray.
Once the tower is closed, Sawyer will become an uncontrolled airfield, and pilots will have to communicate with the ground handlers at each terminal building.