FAA announces delay of air traffic control tower closures

By WEEK Reporter

April 5, 2013 Updated Apr 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, DC -- The closures of 149 regional airport control towers due to be shut down this weekend have been placed on hold until June 15.

That includes the tower at Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. FAA officials said the delay should give communities more time to decide if they can assume financial responsibility for operating the towers.

In a statement, CIRA Executive Director Carl Olson said while they are pleased with the announcement they plan to continue in their legal action against the FAA. The Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority is also negotiating with private air traffic control services and reviewing alternative funding for tower operations.

The FAA said the shutdowns are necessary in order to reach the $637 million in budget cuts they were obligated to make under the sequester.