In just two weeks, the Air Traffic Control Tower at Shreveport's Downtown Airport will be closing.  The Federal Aviation Administration, today, released its final list of 149 control towers at small airports around the country that will be closed April 7th as the agency attempts to cut more than $600-million from its budget.  The closure will put six Air Traffic Controllers out of work.

Shreveport Airport Authority spokesman Mark Crawford tells me that the Authority, itself, along with Downtown Airport users fought valiantly to keep the control tower open but, ultimately, were unsuccessful.  Downtown Airport Manager Stacy Kuba says the airport will remain open, despite the control tower closure, and that safety will remain the top priority as other avenues are explored in an effort to re-open the control tower.

This isn't the first time that the Downtown Airport's control tower has been closed.  It was shut down for a few years back in the 1990s, but it was a much smaller airport then.  The Downtown Airport is now home to more than 200 General Aviation aircraft and has turned into a pretty busy place.  Crawford says pilots will still be able to coordinate with each other on an aircraft-to-aircraft radio frequency and the movement of planes in and out of the airport will still be watched, as much as possible, by Air Traffic Controllers at Shreveport Regional Airport and Barksdale Air Force Base.