Glacier airport files lawsuit to keep tower open

FLATHEAD COUNTY

Associated Press
POSTED: 1:38 PM Apr 03 2013   UPDATED: 6:03 PM Apr 03 2013
Glacier Park International Airport
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Glacier Park International Airport's owner is attempting to block the closure of its air-traffic control tower scheduled for next month.
    
The Flathead Municipal Airport Authority filed a lawsuit March 29 against the Federal Aviation Administration. The complaint asks the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the decision to close the tower.
    
The Glacier airport's tower is one of 149 across the country slated to close this spring because of automatic federal budget cuts.
    
The Flathead Beacon reported the lawsuit Wednesday (http://bit.ly/11niWcQ). The newspaper also obtained a letter by airport director Cindi Martin that says closing the tower would "unacceptably compromise safety at GPI."
    
The March 12 letter to FAA administrator Michael Huerta says the tower is critical because of the mountainous terrain and unpredictable weather in northwestern Montana.