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FAA to close 149 federal air traffic control towers, spares 24 contract and 16 federal towers

25-Mar-2013 9:55 AM

US Department of Transportation announced (22-Mar-2013) the FAA reached the decision that 149 federal contract towers will close, as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. The FAA decided to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure, as doing so "would have a negative impact on the national interest". An additional 16 federal contract towers under the 'cost share' programme will remain open because Congressional statute sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share programme funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5% cut will not result in tower closures. In early Mar-2013, FAA proposed to close 189 contract air traffic control towers as part of its plan to meet the USD637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration and announced that it would consider keeping open any of these towers if doing so would be in the national interest. Some communities will elect to participate in FAA’s non-federal tower programme and assume the cost of continued, on-site air traffic control services at their airport. The FAA will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 federal contract towers beginning 07-Apr-2013. [more - original PR]