Closing Ogden airport tower increases collision risk

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 11:25 AM

John Jobst


Regarding the news article of March 23, “It’s official: Ogden tower cut,” the Ogden-Hinckley airport tower provides a vital service to not only the flying community in Ogden, but also to the many pilots that transit Ogden’s Class Delta Airspace, in particular, the F-16’s destined to Hill AFB. The decision to close Ogden tower as part of sequestration will save roughly $250,000 in combined salaries for the five contracted air traffic controllers assigned to the Ogden facility. This net saving is peanuts when compared to the potential cost in millions of dollars and lost lives that Ogden, and its surrounding communities will suffer should a mid-air collision occur over the Ogden area, simply because we’re out to save a few bucks.

The last I checked, an F-16 was going for about $30 million. Is saving a mere $250,000 of controllers’ salaries as part of sequestration worth risking a possible accident or incident over the Wasatch Front?

Hill F-16’s routinely fly over Clearfield, Layton, and Ogden while landing and departing and for the occasional left and right re-entry.

Knowing that the Hill controllers are working hand-in-hand with the Ogden controllers to keep the F-16’s separated with the other aircraft in the Ogden traffic pattern instills peace of mind for many pilots.

Closing Ogden tower and making the airspace surrounding Ogden uncontrolled leaves the door open for an incident or (God forbid) an accident. Think about the aftermath, the lives lost, and the havoc on the ground an airborne collision will cause if such an accident were to come crashing down onto one of our neighborhoods.

I’m sorry, but keeping Ogden tower open is certainly worth more than sequestered savings of $250,000. Closing Ogden tower puts all of the people living around the airport and its surrounding areas at risk.

John Jobst


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