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FAA to close Cuyahoga County Airport tower, 148 others

2:30 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: FAA closure list

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the closing of 149 air traffic control towers staffed by contractors that will begin April 7.

The agency made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest, according to an FAA news release.

The cuts are result of sequestration -- the $85 billion in spending cuts that went into effect on March 1 after Congress did not pass a budget.

The Cuyahoga County Airport will remain open despite the air traffic control tower closing. Once the Cuyahoga County Airport air traffic control tower closes, the tower will be controlled by another FAA owned tower.

"Closure of the air traffic control tower at the Cuyahoga County Airport is a mistake and could have serious consequences," said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

"Aviation experts across the county have expressed concerns about the closures' impact on safety and on overall air traffic in each surrounding community, beyond what will happen at each individual airport. We will continue to work with our congressional representatives to address this decision and will consider all possible responses."

"There's going to be close calls, there's going to be midairs, there's going to be a runway accident," said Mamie Ambrose, an air traffic controller in Frederick, MD.

Of the $1 billion that will be a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's budget cuts, $600 million will come from the FAA in fiscal year 2013.

With that amount, the contract tower program is facing a 75 percent reduction.

WKYC-TV

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