The traffic control tower at Ramona Airport will close April 7 under the Federal Aviation Administration’s forced spending cuts, the agency has announced.
The Ramona air traffic control tower is one of 149 federal contract towers nationwide slated to close within a four-week period, beginning April 7, as part of the FAA’s plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration.
District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, along with the other county supervisors and Congressman Duncan Hunter, strongly oppose the control tower closure. Jacob, who called it a “wrong-headed decision” by the FAA and a potential for disaster, said she is contacting elected officials and will continue to fight the closure.
Ramona Airport serves as an air attack base for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service. During larger fires, up to 18 aircraft can operate out of the Ramona airport, coordinated by air traffic controllers, according to Jacob.
The Ramona control tower was staffed after three people died in an in-flight collision between U.S. Forest Service aircraft engaged in firefighting in 1995.
Also closing on April 7 are the control towers at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, Fullerton Municipal Airport, and Riverside Municipal Airport.
The control tower at Gen. William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster is set to close April 21, and at Brown Field in San Diego on May 5, FAA officials said.