US shuts down 149 airport control towers
Updated: 2013-03-23 05:34
WASHINGTON - The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under the Transportation Department announced Friday that 149 airport control towers will be closed across the country beginning on April 7 due to the agency's budget saving implementation plan.
"We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions," US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
"Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration," LaHood noted.
Roughly 85 billion US dollars of spending cuts started to hit various US governmental departments this year starting on March 1. The spending cuts, the so-called "sequester" or "sequestration" in US government budget language, were included in the August 2011 debt reduction package.
The FAA will work with the airports to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The FAA will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 air traffic control towers beginning on April 7, part of its efforts to save 637 million dollars spending this year, according to the statement.