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FAA Delays Closure of Air Traffic Control Towers

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (KTLA) — The 149 air-traffic control towers scheduled to be shut down Sunday due to federal budget cuts will be kept open for two more months, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday.

Last month, the FAA announced that 7 control towers in Southern California would be among those slated for closure as a result of forced federal budget cuts.

The FAA must cut $637 million by Sept. 30 as part of $85 billion in cuts across the federal government.

Control towers in Fullerton, Oxnard, Riverside, San Diego, Victorville, Whiteman Airport in Pacoima and Fox Airfield in Lancaster will now remain open until at least June 15.

The FAA says the 2 month extension will give the agency more time to deal with lawsuits regarding the closure as well as review “appropriate risk mitigations” and consult with airports and operators.

All the towers targeted for closure are contract towers, which are certified by the FAA, but not run by the government.

Contract towers make up nearly half of the nation’s towers and handle about 30% of the air traffic.

Two Southern California contract towers were spared from the first round of proposed cuts: Hawthorne Municipal Airport and a joint facility in Palmdale that houses the regional airport and USAF Plant 42.

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