Thursday, March 07, 2013

Airport Cuts Could Send NASCAR Teams Spinning

NASCAR race teams are mulling the possible impact of a decision to eliminate federal funding for the control tower at Concord (NC) Regional Airport, a move that could force them to radically modify their weekly travel arrangements.

Budget cuts related to the federal sequester were instituted last week, after the Congress and House of Representatives failed to agree on a plan to slash federal spending. The Federal Aviation Administration told Concord city officials this week that as a result of those cuts, funding for the Concord tower will be discontinued in the near future. While an unmanned tower would not force the airport to close, the facility would be rendered unusable for most race team and NASCAR-related charter flights.
A large majority of race teams are located within just a few miles of Concord Regional Airport and utilize the facility as a transportation hub. In addition to individual race teams, the ConSeaAir charter service books weekly 737 flights out of Concord, filled with crew, media members and sanctioning body officials. Without a staffed control tower, most of that business would shift to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, resulting in inconvenience for teams and a loss of revenue for the city of Concord.
John Cox, president and CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, told the Charlotte Observer that the cuts are disappointing to local officials, who have “invested tens of millions to make Concord Regional Airport a premier aviation destination in North Carolina.
Cox called the move, “a fiasco,” adding that he is investigating other possible sources of funding.
Concord is one of four airports in North Carolina facing cuts, joining Hickory, Winston-Salem and Kinston.


  1. Anonymous12:40 PM

    ahhhhh Bruton will probably buy the whole airpark and rebuild it better

  2. could nascar hire an air traffic controller? tho teams, media, and affiliated members would have to leave and arrive within a specified time frame

  3. Just going to put my 2 cents here. I'm a pilot and a hopeful future ATC. Have gone to school for both. So when people start talking about things they have no idea how it works kinda make me mad. The "godfather" nor the CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce have any idea how the system works.

    By removing the control changes nothing. The airfield will become an uncontrolled airfield. So pilots will have the responsibility for separation of their aircraft from others. How this is done is by announcing your position and being in constant contact with other pilots.

    If the airport loses its tower its because there wasn't enough traffic to warrant the cost. So by removing a controller that isn't looking at a RADAR screen but looking through binoculars for the aircraft, the safety of the flights will not be compromised.

    So all this up roar is about nothing. There are more than half of the airports in the system that are uncontrolled and operate without incident. The pilots of the aircraft will just have to increase their lookout for other aircraft.

    1. You'd be surprised what I know, Nathan. For instance, I know that most (if not all) of the race teams require their personnel to fly ONLY into/out of controlled airports. So apparently, there is some substance to this story, after all!

    2. Dipship10:44 PM

      Well... Maybe next time Mr Moody you should clarify that type of info in the your article ? And on this quote... "resulting in inconvenience for teams and a loss of revenue for the city of Concord."
      Please... I'm self employed, I deal with bigger problems on a daily basis... and on the cities loss in revenue... For once can someone think about the tax payer and what we lose daily !!!!

    3. Anonymous6:59 AM

      Sounds like the race teams will be forced to adjust what they "require" then doesn't it, dave. As battered as these teams are financially they seem to jump through the costliest of hoops that NASCAR creates almost quarterly with new rule changes and fines for all sorts of things. Are we to be surprised that uncle sam messed up something for anyone? Nathan had some very good points. Most all arports are uncontrolled. If the story is concern regarding nascar team's (not to mention the media's) safe ingress and egress, perhaps it's the ability of the pilots that is in question. Overall teams will adjust and or spend even more money-big surprise. Whether Nathan is surprised with what you know or not there is one thing we all know for sure.-A racer's ability to coordinate adapt and overcome is not only what they do but who they are.

      B. Fulton
      Minneapolis, MN

    4. Dipship, I apologize. I've been very busy lately and havent had an opportunity to write a story about you, your employment issues and your life. I'll get right on that.

    5. Barry8:50 AM

      I'd be willing to bet my measly salary that most of the "require" being required, is due to insurance, and the use of "uncontrolled" airports, while safe, would constitute a substantial increase in insurance premiums. IMO.

    6. Dipship9:15 AM

      C'mon Mr Moody... I simply pointed out that you seemed to have left out a very important aspect to this minor story.... And why do Cities etc. always tell us we need to sacrifice a little, yet when its on them its always "whoa is me"? Also, I guess it's true... The Media's job is to critique/criticize people, places, things, the news, But by goly dont dare critique/criticize them....
      Advid listner by the way !

    7. Can't wait to here the story on Dipship!

    8. Anonymous4:26 PM

      Barry, you could very well be right about insurance.

      well put Dipship. Im with Dipship... -i gotta get a shirt made for that:)

      Anyway did someone mention Bruton? Lets think about that. I recall that Bruton played chicken with that area down there and won in a big way. The city told him he couldnt add on to his speedway complex. He threatened he would bulldoze the s.o.b and rebuild it somewhere else. It was almost overnight that the city did a 180. The city, with with their tail between their legs and whimpering rolled out the redcarpet with incentives and even named a flippin street after him! Obviously they appreciate the revenue that nascar provides.

      When NASCAR Set out to build their own hall of fame, that same city lobbied like crazy for Nascar to build it there. They projected an enormously inflated amount of patronage if it were to be built in their town. After it's comlpetion when the numbers weren't anywhere near what they had promised, they publicly admitted they pretty much lied in order to get it done. Once again it seems the Charlotte area is pretty fond of the revenue Nascar and it's race teams provide.

      I guess my question is, if it's a revenue issue where the hell is Charlotte on this? Or NC for that matter?

      Correct my facts If Ive got anything totally upside down wrong. They are just from memory and mine aint so good.
      And dave when you're done with dipships story can you write one about me too? ;)

      Minneapolis, Mn

  4. Anonymous4:42 PM

    I really maybe confused about which of the cities down do what..

    Minneapolis, Mn