FAA lists 149 towers slated for closing

March 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The Federal Aviation Administration released a list Friday of 149 control towers at small airports across the United States that are to be closed to save money.

The FAA said all of the towers are staffed by contracting companies, The Wall Street Journal reported. All are at airports with fewer than 10,000 commercial arrivals and departures every year.

The agency is losing $637 million in the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester.

The FAA had originally planned to close 189 towers but cut the list by 40 after comment from airports.

Officials said 24 of the towers are at airports that are likely to get flights diverted from nearby major airports or are in areas with critical airspace, and 16 are funded under a separate congressional mandate.

The closings are expected to begin April 7 and last for a month.

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