In the past month, news of the potential closure of 14 air traffic control towers as a result of the March 1 sequester deadline made headlines throughout Texas. And even though the Federal Aviation Administration recently announced plans to delay tower closures until June 15, the topic is still expected to be a major point of discussion at this year’s Texas Aviation Conference. The 31st Annual Texas Aviation Conference will be held May 13-15 at the Austin Hilton hotel.
Texas A&M Transportation Institute Research Scientist Jeff Borowiec coordinates the conference program for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division.
“Among the approximately 500 conference participants include managers and decision makers representing general aviation airports throughout the state,” says Borowiec. “Over a dozen of these regional airports have air traffic control towers or future construction plans. Certainly they will want to interact with colleagues or attend sessions which may provide guidance while longer-term funding solutions are being evaluated.”
Another major topic at this year’s conference is business aviation and the role it plays in the economic development of communities. A panel discussion with industry leaders in business aviation will highlight the opening morning’s activities.
“Businesses of all sizes utilize airports across our state. Doing so allows them to operated more cost-effectively and efficiently,” says Borowiec. “While that is one component, there is a larger picture of general aviation airports that are equipped with modern facilities to handle business aviation traffic becoming large economic drivers for their community.”