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      FAA delays cessation of tower funding

      The Federal Aviation Administration has announced in a letter to airports that due to a large number of responses in response to the opportunity to explain why the elimination of funding for the tower operations at their airports would adversely affect the national interest, they're delaying their final decision.FAA officials say that in order to comprehensively review appeal submissions from each airport, they will delay their decision and announcement of which airport tower operations it intends to cease to fund.

      During Monday night's Albany-Dougherty County Aviation Commission meeting, members talked about how it would affect the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

      Members say if the local airport were forced to close their tower from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., it would greatly affect both the wait time of getting in the air and the wait of trying to land, which could cause a ripple effect. Airport Director Yvette Aehle says if the delay causes a plane to be late getting to to Atlanta, they could lose their time slot completely.

      Other members say if the rate of delayed flights and missed flights goes up, this could cause a bad situation with Delta, the only carrier at the airport.

      Aehle says the commission sent their appeal to the FAA and believes it shows why the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport needs the towers to continue operating and how it would affect more people than just locally.The FAA says they will make that announcement of which airport towers will close on March 22nd.Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!