Delegation: FAA Agrees to Maintain Midnight Shift for Fargo Air Traffic Control Tower

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will continue 24-hour operation of the air traffic control tower (ATC) at Hector International Airport. The Fargo facility was on a national list of airports scheduled for a possible reduction in hours of service.

Following calls to the FAA, the delegation yesterday followed up with a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta telling him that the legislation passed by Congress last week to avert air traffic controller furloughs gives the agency the budget flexibility it needs to retain 24-hour service.

They noted that Hector International Airport is the only 24-hour ATC-serviced airport in the state and provides emergency relief for flight diversions from other airports in the region. Additionally, the airport serves as an important part of regional emergency care services. Both flight diversions and emergency care services by necessity operate on a 24/7/365 basis, they said.

The delegation wrote:

“We believe that reducing the overnight hours at the Hector International Airport would limit the airport’s ability to provide the necessary services to the surrounding communities. With this greater flexibility, the FAA has sufficient resources to maintain 24-hour Air Traffic Control (ATC) status at the Hector International Airport. Accordingly, we request that FAA maintain 24-hour ATC status at the Hector International Airport as part of its review.”