The FAA was expected to announce today which control towers will close due to federal budget cuts, but now that announcement has been delayed until Friday, March 22. The FAA plans to eliminate funding for 189 contract towers at small airports, but operators of those airports were invited to make a case to the FAA why those measures would “adversely affect the national interest.” Last Friday, FAA chief operating officer J. David Grizzle said the FAA has “received a very large number of responses” and needs more time to “review comprehensively the submission on behalf of each airport.”
No change was announced for the actual shutdown schedule. On April 7, 173 towers are expected to close, with 16 more to shut down on September 30. The FAA has closed its request for comments on the closures.
By Mary Grady, Contributing editor