An AFSS Closes Early, In Millville

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Pilots in New Jersey say the decision to close an automated flight service station (AFSS) -- the building's roof collapsed last month -- will cause safety concerns. The Millville AFSS was scheduled to close in six to 18 months as part of the consolidation of flight service facilities under Lockheed Martin's contract, which takes effect Oct. 4. But the building damage has prompted the company to move up the closure and pilots claim that's hurting service. Wait times for briefings average 20 to 30 minutes according to pilots who have contacted AVweb. The closure will also leave 23 radio frequencies unmonitored during the transition, something the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists says is dangerous. The early closure is also taking its toll on workers. Those who have already accepted jobs with Lockheed Martin at other facilities are being told they have two weeks to report while those who didn't get new jobs will lose up to 18 months of income. "There are people who work there who cannot move because of family situations," said union representative Ron Consalvo.