Aviation News

March 6, 2013

FAA to Close 137 Control Towers Due to Sequestration

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Written by: Jason Rabinowitz
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CNN reported on Tuesday reported that due to the sequestration, 173 air traffic control towers at
smaller airports will be shut down on April 7. Another 16 are scheduled for closing September 30 th if a
resolution has not been reached by that time.

The air traffic control towers in question are not actually operated by the FAA itself, instead they are
contracted out to third-party companies. CNN reports that a total of 251 air traffic control towers are
contracted out.

While the closing of these towers will create headaches for pilots and passengers, it will not result in the
closing of the airfields where they are located. Flights in need to air traffic control assistance will be able
to communicate with other FAA facilities; however, those facilities are facing cut backs as well.

Contract air traffic control towers are just the latest target for budget cuts in the aviation sector after
sequestration became effective March 1, 2013. The Transportation Security Administration warned
that budget cuts will force furloughs and a reduction in overtime, resulting in dramatically increased
wait times at airport security checkpoints. Passengers can also expect wait times of up to four hours at

The FAA has not yet returned a phone call for comment.

About the Author

Jason Rabinowitz



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  • Hopefully they are closing the towers where these high paid controllers were falling asleep.

    • NickSJ

      Apparently they’re only closing the privately contracted towers. The FAA will protect its own overpaid staff.