Hancock International Airport's midnight shifts will not be cut

May 9, 2013

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the midnight control tower shifts at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport will not be cut as part of federal sequestration.

Syracuse Aviation Commissioner Christina Callahan is relieved. She said despite the costs, the midnight shift is is a crucial time for the operation of the airport.

"We receive a number of diversions all year round and, you know, we were concerned that, had they closed the midnight shift, that's during that period of time that we normally see diversions. So this is very good news," Callahan explained.

She also pointed out that the maintenance typically done on this shift is an important part of the airport's safe operation.

"Certainly for us, safety of aircraft and passengers, the people who are on the ground, plowing snow, repairing pavement, is the priority," she said.

However, Callahan admits that while the airport is safe from cuts this year, the midnight shift might be eliminated in the future due to budget costs. Callahan says if the midnight shift were eliminated, air traffic controllers from Boston would handle any overnight traffic to Syracuse.