This severe weather season, air traffic controllers at Rick Husband Amarillo Airport will no longer have access to weather radios.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says exactly one week ago a pilot alert the tower about severe weather a close call that could have had severe consequences. The FAA says the radios are a distraction, the measure was put into place after contract negotiations broke down between the FAA and the controller's union.
Today there is no end in sight. The union says weather radios have been in the Amarillo tower for a decade, and Michael Bigler with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says the radios are the most timely way to be warned about storms.
"Well first off we're in tornado alley. We're in one of the most active areas for severe weather and that was actually our primary source of information that we could relay to aircraft".
Passenger Jim Stacey travelled to amarillot today on business from Houston and agrees the radios are a valuable resource. "That is a big concern. There's enough other things going on up there that I feel like any resources that the controllers have if they're doing their job right its not gonna be a distraction, its gonna be a help".
As part of our investigation, Newschannel10 spoke with the FAA. They did not want to comment on the matter but did issue a statement saying the controllers have many other resources at their fingertips to prepare pilots who may be in danger.