ECP is one of 26 Florida airports which participates in the FAA's contract tower program. That program has been cut from President Obama's 2014 budget. However, ECP executive director Parker Mcclellan is in Washington DC to fight that budget cut.
"We need to persuade both congress and the president to put the 150 million dollars back into the contract tower program. It's a huge thing for our airport in terms of safety, as well as job generation, economic development and a variety of other things," says McClellan.
If the program goes, so does just over 500 thousand dollars in federal dollars.
"And that will go against our rates we charge the airlines as well as go into the airport budget," continued McClellan.
The importance of the airports success stretches beyond the terminal walls.
"One of the things the airport allows is it lets us extend our market beyond our typical drive market, says Dan Rowe of the TDC. "We've seen an uptick from those other markets, even if we don't get on an airplane. We are seeing a lot of folks from Texas who have seen the southwest advertisements that we have done, but they are choosing to drive."
We will continue to follow director McClellan and have news from the meetings later this week.