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Closing of FAA towers across Georgia could pose safety problems

The Federal Aviation Administration has reported its plan to close a number of airport towers beginning on April 7, 2013, due to automatic federal spending cuts. A total of 149 towers will be closed across the country; five of these towers are in Georgia. These towers are currently located at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, Ben Epps Airport, Gwinnett County Airport at Briscoe Field, Middle Georgia Airport and McCollum Field. These airports are located in Albany, Athens, Lawrenceville, Macon and Kennesaw, respectively.

Both the American Association of Airport Executives and the United States Contract Tower Association are concerned with the towers' closing. Representatives from these organizations believe that the closures hamper the safety and effectiveness of air traffic. Without these towers, pilots will be more on their own: They'll lack an extra set of eyes to help ensure safety. 

The closing of the towers also presents a possible premise liability issue for the Federal Aviation Administration. The tenets of a premises liability case goes that if a person is injured due to dangerous conditions that are permitted on a property, the victim may be able to bring forth a legal claim against whoever is responsible for that property. Since the FAA is responsible for the airspace, a case could possibly be brought against them if an accident occurs due to unsafe or inadequate monitoring of the airspace. In this and other cases, a victim may be able to seek compensation for any expenses that are related to the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Many premises liability cases center around accidents that happen in private locations, such as shopping centers, apartment complexes, grocery stores and other locations maintained by a private owner. However, some governmental entities may also be sued if government immunity is not applicable or waived and if other requirements are met. Due to the complexity of issues such as these, individuals involved in a possible case may seek counsel from a premises liability attorney.

Source: CBS Atlanta.com, "FAA confirms 5 Georgia airports will close towers," FAA confirms 5 Georgia airports will close towers," Veronica Griffin, March 23, 2013

Source: My FoxAtlanta.com, "FAA to close 5 Ga. airport towers

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