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Blumenthal Blames FAA For Airport Control Tower Closures; Says They’re Unnecessary

Groton-New London Airport (file)

Groton-New London Airport (file)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) - A group of U.S. Senators is working to keep the airport control towers from closing due to a lack of funding under sequester cuts.

Under the sequester cuts due to take effect April 7 would lead to the closing of six airport control towers in Connecticut – at Danbury Municipal Airport, Groton-New London Airport, Hartford-Brainard Airport, Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, and Waterbury-Oxford Airport.

In Washington, a group of senators including Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, is working to stop the huge cut the Federal Aviation Administration is set to impose.

Blumenthal insists the money is there if the FAA would just allocate it more fairly.

“The FAA has the $50 million to sustain these local control towers, but it is refusing to use the unspent money that it has in other accounts,” Blumenthal told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

Blumenthal said while the FAA imposed five percent budget cuts across the board, it imposed a 75 percent budget slash to airport control towers for no other likely reason, he said, than to dramatize the impact of the sequester budget cuts.

The legislation the group of Senators is working on would mandate the action by the FAA.

The FAA has not returned a call for comment.