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FAA To Close 149 Air Traffic Towers, Including Several In Tri-State Area

The seal of the Federal Aviation Administration (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The seal of the Federal Aviation Administration (credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said it will close 149 air traffic control towers at small airports around the country because of federal budget cuts.

The agency announced the decision Friday, a month after it released a preliminary list of facilities that could be closed.

All of the affected airports will remain open.

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Several airports in the Tri-State Area will be affected, including New York’s Ithaca Tompkins Regional and Griffiss International in Rome and Trenton Mercer in New Jersey.

Six Connecticut airports will close air traffic control towers, including Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Danbury Municipal Airport, Groton-New London Airport, Hartford-Brainard Airport and Hartford-Brainard Airport.

Pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers.

That’s something they are trained to do, but airport directors have raised concerns about the potential impact on safety.

In an accompanying statement, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says the agency will take steps to ensure safe operations at the affected airports.

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