Beaufort worries about tower close before tourney

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Beaufort County officials are worried about the closure of the Hilton Head Island Airport tower before this year's RBC Heritage golf tournament next month.

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to close Hilton Head's tower and 148 others at small airports April 7 because of federal budget cuts.

The golf tournament is April 15-21.

Airport traffic has fallen but business is usually up in April because of the tournament.

County administrator Gary Kubic says officials are considering asking Hilton Head Island and the Heritage Classic Foundation for money to keep the tower operating until the tournament is over. It's unclear how much that would cost.

Kubic says it's also unclear if a municipality can pay for air traffic control on its own. He says there might be union or contractual issues.

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