The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US has ceased services at a weather observation station at Kalamazoo / Battle Creek International Airport due to a decline in plane traffic.

The FAA decided to withdraw the station as aircraft movements from Kalamazoo decreased from 101,000 in 2004 to about 60,000 in 2008. The closure is expected to save around $252,000 annually.

Air traffic controllers trained in monitoring the weather conditions will replace the observers who used to check the automated weather readings at the airport.

The administration also made its decision on the basis that Kalamazoo was not a busy hub airport in the region and on the basis that bad weather was not common in the area.

As part of other cost-reduction efforts, FAA officials will also merge the radar controllers of Lansing, Grand Rapids and Muskegon airports and move them to a new traffic-control tower at the Kalamazoo / Battle Creek Airport in 2013.