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This Saturday night into Sunday morning the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport’s commercial carriers may experience delays due to maintenance work that must be completed at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport Air Traffic Control (ATCT).Due to storms over the past month, repair on this critical equipment must take place.The equipment affected is called a transfer switch.This equipment automatically transfers the ATCT to a backup generator if the facility loses commercial power.

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Air Traffic Control Tower will shut down between 12:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. for this maintenance to occur.In order to lessen the impact on the airlines and its passengers, this closure will take place after all commercial flights have landed at the airport Saturday evening.The air carriers have assured the Commission that the air traffic closure in Roanoke on Sunday morning should not impact regularly scheduled flights.

“The FAA, airlines and Commission staff have been working  closely together to mitigate the impact felt by the passengers as much as possible,” Roanoke–Blacksburg Regional Airport Commission Executive Director, Tim Bradshaw, AAAE, said.“Overnight is the best time to perform these repairs.Unfortunately, it will take eight hours to fix the equipment damaged by these storms.In the interest of safety, however, the FAA must make these repairs as soon as possible to lessen future impact.”

The FAA’s Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, VA will control the airspace normally handled by Roanoke-Blacksburg ATCT.The airport’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting staff will also monitor all frequencies and emergency phone lines overnight. Commission personnel will be on hand to monitor the situation.

 The Roanoke Air Traffic Control Tower monitors the air traffic over Roanoke, Lynchburg and most of Southwest Virginia.