Airport tower survives another year, but facility needs more

The on-again, off-again air traffic control tower at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville is on again.

The control tower is open until at least September 2014 courtesy of the chaos amid federal budget shenanigans and the lack of a new transportation plan.

The newest preliminary federal budget provides funds to allow the towers to remain open through the federal fiscal year 2014.

Lucky breaks such as this are all well and good, but we’d like to see more for the local airport.

An airport in the heart of the gas drilling boom with worldwide consequences shouldn’t have control towers in jeopardy.

It shouldn’t lose its police helicopter.

It shouldn’t have just one airline operating out of it.

We would hope that, by the time this one-year grace period for the air control tower expires, the airport has the face of a first-class facility, which it should be.

That means more flights to more destinations, a police helicopter, an upgraded terminal and a control tower off of life support.

The airport is supposed to be an economic development engine for the region.

But its rural location seems to keep stunting its growth and potential.

That can’t end soon enough.