Extension of Weather Data Services at Lake Tahoe airport
For three years now, weather observation and air traffic control services at Lake Tahoe Airport have been divided between the Federal Aviation Administration and Weather Data Services, a division of Maytag Aircraft Corporation.
That means Lake Tahoe Airport has been paying approximately $30,500 every six months to renew its air traffic control contract with Weather Data Services, because until commercial air service could be re-established and developed into a thriving business, the FAA agreed only to fund weather observation.
The good news, according to airport management assistant Janis Brand is the South Lake Tahoe City Council’s approval last week of yet another contract with Weather Data Services could be the last of its kind.
“We’re out there lobbying madly with the FAA to get a full federal contract tower program, rather than splitting everything up the way we’ve been doing,” Brand said. “They agreed to extend the contract because of our increased commercial service, but my feelings and hopes are that we will be put in the full contract program by the time this six-month extension ends.”
Brand said she did not think Allegiant Air’s announcement last Friday to pull their business out of Lake Tahoe by Oct. 19 would affect the FAA’s decision.
“I’m not sure how much exactly the number of flights and enplanements will factor into their decision. Certainly if (Allegiant’s) Burbank passengers aren’t being picked up, we’re looking at lower numbers,” Brand said. “But general aviation has picked up just about 100 percent and that will certainly make a difference.”
Should the FAA agree to return the tower to the federal contract tower program, the six-month contract with Weather Data Services would be terminated, Brand said.
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