Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
FAA to Close 149 Air Traffic Control Towers (LIST)
Monday, March 25, 2013 - 11:10 AM
Forced to trim $637 million from its budget, the FAA is closing 149 air traffic control facilities around the country.
The closures will start taking place early next month and will take four weeks to complete.
Air traffic controllers say this means more work for the pilots -- and could lead to delays. "When there’s no controller in the tower, it then becomes a one-in, one-out operation," said Sarah Dunn, a spokesperson for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, meaning pilots, not controllers, will be coordinating air traffic at these airports. "All the pilots are on the same frequency checking to see who’s landing, who’s coming in and out."
But the FAA says the closures won't affect safety. “We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement.
See the list of towers below.