NWFL Beaches International Airport's Control Tower Could Lose Funding

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PANAMA CITY BEACH - The airport and 251 small and medium sized airports participate in a FAA contract tower program.

The program allows the airport to save money and use less air traffic controllers than an a FAA control tower, but airport officials say the FAA could be eliminating the program entirely in the 2014 budget, putting all the financial responsibilities on the airport.

Officials didn't say if that would lead to lay-offs or higher ticket prices.

"We would begin looking for alternative funding sources, but additionally it would end up on our rates and charges," said Executive Director Parker McClellan.

It costs about $600,000 a year to operate the control tower.