The Federal Aviation Administration has made it official and released a final list of all the air traffic control towers that will be shut at small airports across the country beginning April 7. The number may seem like a lot, but it's 40 fewer than originally planned, points out Reuters. "Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.
The affected airports won’t be shut down, but rather pilots will have to coordinate takeoffs and landings over a shared radio frequency. That may sound a little odd but the Associated Press says that “all pilots are trained to fly using those procedures.” Still, many in the aviation sector have said that taking away a layer of security will increase risks.
When the initial list was released, communities launched big lobbying campaigns to keep their towers, points out the Washington Post. The FAA has to cut $637million from its budget until the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30 due to the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect March 1.
See the full list of affected airports here.