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FAA: control towers to stay open until June 15

Staff writer |
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to delay the closing of 149 airport control towers until June 15. The towers, mostly in small cities, are to be close because of $637 million in budget cuts.

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the sequestration-related cutback, which should save $33 million in the current fiscal year, would be delayed until June 15. That move should give affected communities more time to find money to operate the towers. FAA faced a lawsuit from the companies that operate the towers under contracts with the government and there were voices question the safety of passengers if the state closes control towers.

The Transportation Department cut only non-union privatized towers and they do that on short notice because there is no dealing with the air traffic controllers' union. Without towers, pilots will have to use a frequency to communicate with other planes in the area, to keep themselves, airplanes, and passengers safe.

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