FAA To Close Control Towers At 149 Regional Airports
The Federal Aviation Administration is closing a large number of control towers due, it claims, to the sequester cuts:
Washington (CNN) — The FAA on Friday announced it will close 149 regional airport control towers because of forced spending cuts — sparing 40 others that the FAA had been expected to shutter.
A four-week, phased closure of the 149 control towers will begin on April 7, the FAA said.
The FAA had been expected to announce the closure of 189 low- or moderate-volume towers staffed by contractors. Before Friday’s announcement, it said it would consider keeping a tower open if the airport convinces the agency it is in the “national interest” to do so.
The FAA claims that it cannot cut $600 million from its $58 billion without impacting air traffic control. Honestly, though, I can’t believe that this is true. It seems more likely to me that the Administration is phasing in cuts that are designed to have the most public impact in order to win a political battle. Take a fine tooth comb to that budget, guys, before you start risking public safety.