Will That Be One Controller, Or Two?
The Lexington tragedy had reporters all over the country phoning their local airports trying to determine if such a catastrophe could happen in their town. In Akron, Ohio, the local paper discovered that Akron-Canton Regional Airport had only one set of eyes looking out for air traffic in the wee hours, but was assured by the FAA that it was OK. FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said that at midnight, radar responsibility shifts to Cleveland Center. "If the radar isn't up, there's no reason for someone to be standing there," he said. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money." Interestingly, Akron-Canton has about 12 flights during the early morning hours compared to Lexington's six or so. But the powers that be decided its radar responsibilities could be deflected elsewhere. There are no scheduled arrivals after midnight at Akron-Canton and pre-dawn rush of three departures. Otherwise, the overnight traffic consists of cargo, charter and transient traffic.