By Jeffrey Yorke
It seems that two-way radio transmissions are a thing of the past. At least that’s the way the FAA sees it. The agency has a list of 240 or more airport towers that could be closed and dismantled.
They crisscross the nation, from sites in downtown Mobile, AL, to the Salinas Municipal tower in Salinas, CA, to Northeast Florida Regional Airport, in St. Augustine. Also on the list is the Frederick Municipal Airport in Fredrick, Md., some 20 miles south of Camp David, the president’s retreat in the Maryland mountains.
Several towers came down last week around Amarillo, TX. “What’s going on is these remote control relay links are no longer being used throughout the country. They’re going to new technology…fiber optics,” Randy Perl, Resident Engineer of the Parson Corporation, told the NewsChannel10.com shared website for KFDA, KEYU, KZBA in Amarillo.
Perl travels the country taking the towers down and says changing technology is a good thing. But not everyone agrees. And while Whitaker says he will miss the radio tool when it is completely gone, he is pleased with the new forms of communication. “Like in the satellite giving us communication. I know eventually it will be there. We have transmitting towers and radar and things like that, so it’s going to be a big thing because it’s always moving.”
Local Amarillo pilot John Whitaker says the two-way system was useful, more “hands-on.” As the FAA continues to tear down towers, reports the NewsChannel10.com it is giving much of the land they were on to its owners.