The FAA says safety won't be compromised, but that's something one employee from the observation office does not agree with.
The employee, who asked to not be identified, said he believes shutting down their office, and leaving the work up to air traffic controllers and a machine called ASOS, which currently monitors conditions and works as a base for the observers, is a mistake.
"Air traffic controllers don't need to stop what they're doing to go out, make an observation, see what the weather's doing, go back up, resume their duties," the employee said. "It's just a distraction the air traffic controllers do not need."
The employee also said as the present, air traffic controllers are not certified to make observations, something that will take more time before they are ready.
"Air traffic controllers are busy, they are the best at what they do, guiding traffic safely, we're the ones who have the background in weather, the expertise, we already have certification, leave us in place," said the employee.
He also said ASOS, the machine used to do base observations, cannot pick up certain weather conditions, like thunderstorms, blowing dust, or hail, which worries him, as those make flying conditions unsafe for pilots.
One local pilot, Mark Drake, said he's not that concerned about this office closing. "The pilot's the one whose hiney is in the seat, so he needs to make sure his hiney is covered," said Drake. "If you do your preflight planning, your due diligence, know what your weathers going to be anyway, so it's usually not an issue."
The office will not close until May 1st, something the employee said he wants to use to his advantage, and take the time now to try to convince the FAA to reconsider their decision to shut their office.