Although the tower at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida is on the FAA’s list for closure (so is Wittman Regional’s in Oshkosh) the facility will be manned as usual by FAA controllers through Sun ‘n Fun. Under the sequestration closure plan, Lakeland is among 149 towers being closed due to sequestration cuts and was to be shuttered on April 7. But the big show starts April 9 and FAA controllers will be on the job the day before as traffic floods into the area. “Contrary to popular belief, the issues in Washington, D.C. will not deter the aviation community from coming together to share the thrills and excitement of the 39th Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo,” says a rather jubilant news release from SNF President John Leenhouts.
What’s not been made clear is who is going to pay for the workforce. About 36 controllers and more than a dozen technical staff will be on hand for the show and most of them will need accommodation and other travel expenses, too. Last week, Lakeland Linder Airport Manager Gene Conrad said the plan was for the airport, the city, Polk County and Sun ‘n Fun to share the cost, but he did not immediately return our email request for more details.