Officials Discuss Ways To Keep Philip Billard Airport Open

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority is working to keep it's control towers open.

The board heard testimony and discussed their options at their meeting Tuesday.

MTAA President Eric Johnson told 13 News that it would cost roughly $650,000 a year to keep Billard Airport up and running.

He says $400,000 would go to personnel costs, and the other $250,000 would be for maintenance and use of radios and other equipment.

Johnson says they are working to take a national problem and solve it on the local level.

"This is a program that is in place that operates at a fraction of the cost of the federal towers and it has a tremendous safety record, so it's very frustrating to do away with a program that worked so well for no reason, nothing that makes sense to us," said Johnson.

Billard is on the list of towers set to close this summer, due to federal budget cuts.