FAA Considering Closing Towers in Alabama

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On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce which control towers across the country will be shut down.  It’s the result of the sequester cuts that went into effect on March 1st.

Altogether, 238 towers are on the chopping block.

The FAA is initially focusing on 189 low or moderate-volume towers staffed by contractors.

Those include three in Alabama:  one in downtown Mobile, one at Dothan Regional Airport and one at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport.

The tower at Huntsville International Airport is not on the list.

The FAA has told airport officials that it expects to cut funding to the “vast majority” of the towers, since it was ordered by Congress to cut nearly $600 million from its nearly $48 billion budget this fiscal year.

The majority of the FAA’s 47,000 employees are air traffic controllers.  The agency is furloughing employees, eliminating midnight shifts at some control towers and reducing maintenance on non-critical facilities.