US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced (05-Apr-2013) it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers until 15-Jun-2013. Last month, the FAA announced it would eliminate funding for these towers as part of the agency’s required USD637 million budget cuts under sequestration, with a phased, four-week closure process scheduled to begin on 07-Apr-2013. This additional time will allow the agency to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions. As part of the tower closure implementation process, the agency continues to consult with airports and operators and review appropriate risk mitigations. Extending the transition deadline will give the FAA and airports more time to execute the changes to the US national airspace system. Presently, approximately 50 airport authorities and other stakeholders have indicated they may join the FAA’s non-federal contract tower programme and fund the tower operations themselves. This additional time will allow the FAA to help facilitate that transition. [more - original PR]
FAA extends contract-tower closure date to Jun-2013
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