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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri airports in Branson and Columbia are among those that will have their towers shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration because of federal budget cuts.

Towers at the Branson Airport and Columbia Regional Airport will stop operations.

The closures will not force the shutdown of either airport. But pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.

The plan has raised concerns over the impact on safety and the potential financial effect on communities that rely on airports as economic engines for attracting business.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) — Five small airports in Illinois are among dozens nationwide that will lose their air traffic control towers under budget cuts that have hit the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency announced Friday that it will begin closing 149 air traffic facilities starting April 7.

The affected Illinois towers are at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Waukegan Regional Airport near Chicago.

All of the affected airports will remain open. Under long-established procedures, pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency without help from controllers.

The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year under the federal cuts known as sequestration.
Published in Local News

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