I reached out to several airlines and shipping companies in working on today’s story about possible air traffic control tower shift cuts at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.
Spokespersons for UPS Airlines and Southwest Airlines responded with statements after the story was finished and I’d left for the evening.
Here’s what they said:
Mike Mangeot, a spokesman for UPS Airlines, said his company anticipates being able to continue serving its customers in Lubbock “just fine” with its early morning flight.
“Potential tower restrictions driven by the sequester would only come into play if there were extreme weather conditions or mechanical issues with the automated landing equipment at Preston Smith,” he said in the statement. “In those situations, we’d land elsewhere and truck shipments into Lubbock.”
Brandy King, a spokeswoman for Southwest, said the airline continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration, as well as its airport partners, to ensure any future customer impact is kept to a minimum.
“We do not expect any immediate delays to our operation but we are closely monitoring the situation for potential disruptions,” she said. “As always, we encourage Customers to check Southwest.com and/or AirTran.com for specific flight updates. We also recommend Customers check airport websites to get suggested arrival times for navigating security.”
In February, UPS expanded its air service at the Lubbock airport.
At the time, Mangeot said the company decided to begin flying its aircraft into Lubbock to improve service to West Texas customers.
“The new flight will also increase capacity,” Mangeot said in an email. “The Airbus A300 is a wide body freighter, capable of carrying 120,000 pounds of small packages and heavy freight.”
UPS had been serving Lubbock by air prior to the contract, using other companies to load freight at the Lubbock airport.