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Sequestration could shut down Dutchess tower

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TOWN OF WAPPINGER – If sequestration kicks in today, aircraft operations at Dutchess County Airport could be severely impacted as Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18) said on Thursday that the control tower faces shutdown. The tower is operated by federal FAA air traffic controllers and while Dutchess has no commercial traffic, it does have corporate helicopter service as well as corporate and creational aviation users.

Maloney said sequestration will negatively impact the regional economy.

“Where the rubber is going to hit the rubber road on sequester is we are going to lose jobs, put our foot on job growth in the Hudson Valley and we can make better choices,” the congressman said.

Dutchess County Deputy Planning Commissioner Ronald Hicks said the county is working with a Fortune 100 company that could create 100 jobs if it locates in Dutchess.

“In order to get that company into this particular area, the airport plays a critical role in the infrastructure that is going to be needed for this particular attraction deal,” Hicks said.

Maloney made no bones about how he feels about sequestration.

“If you are looking for a way to kill jobs in the Hudson Valley, to guarantee that a company won’t relocate here, this is one way to do it,” he said. “It’s a stupid choice the last Congress made and we could do much better.”

Maloney also has concerns about the impact sequestration will have on Stewart and Westchester County airports as well.