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FAA Will Not Renew Ohio County, WV Tower Lease

Current Lease Expires On Sept. 30, 2019

The FAA has notified officials in Ohio County, West Virginia that it will not renew its lease for the control tower at Wheeling-Ohio County Airport (KHLG) when it expires in two years.

The Wheeling News-Register reports that the agency notified the county of its intentions in a registered letter to Airport Manager Russell Escue, and it was presented to the county commission by County Administrator Greg Stewart at its meeting Tuesday. He told the commission that there are currently two FAA controllers who man the tower from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but the tower uses an automated system when the it is not staffed.

This is not the first time the FAA has tried to pull out of the county. The agency had previously tried to eliminate controllers at KHLG during sequestration in 2013. But then-Senator Jay Rockefeller was able to save the service at the airport for at least half of the day.

“We don’t know all the details yet — it literally just came in today,” Stewart said Tuesday. “But it sounds like after Sept. 30, 2019, we might not have air traffic controllers up there, which is not unusual at a lot of small airports across the country.”

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