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Ramona Airport Traffic Control Tower Decision On Hold Until Friday

Nicole Reino / Patch

Air traffic control tower.

The Federal Aviation Administration has put a hold on its decision to close the Ramona Airport Traffic Control Tower until Friday, says a spokesman for Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Steve Schmidt, the spokesman, said the decision was originally meant to be publicized yesterday (March 18), but due to a "large volume of public feedback," was delayed until Friday, March 22.

Jacob gave a press conference last week, urging Ramona residents to petition the possible closure of the traffic control tower.

"This is like taking a hatchet to the budget when they should be taking a scalpel," Jacob had said, regarding the sequestration cuts responsible for the possible tower closure.

The Ramona Airport is crucial for state agency Cal Fire, as it serves as their fill stations and take-off center during fires. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ray Chaney, who works at the Ramona Airport, said the agency would continue to use the airport even if the traffic control tower was unmanned.

"Cal Fire will continue to have a presence at the airport, with or without a tower," Chaney said. "But the tower provides invaluable safety."

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