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UPDATE: FAA Delays Closing Eight Wis. Airports Until June

UPDATED: Friday, April 5, 2013 -- 1:23 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- FAA says it will delay closure of 149 air traffic control towers at small airports until June. That includes Janesville's Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.

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UPDATED Friday, March 22, 2013 --- 3:33 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close eight air traffic towers at small airports around Wisconsin 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. The Wisconsin airports are in Eau Claire, Janesville, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee's Lawrence J. Timmerman, Mosinee, Oshkosh and Waukesha.

Pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers, which they've been trained to do.

Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport was on a previous list of airports whose control towers could go dark during overnight hours. But that list hasn't been released yet and airport spokesman Harold Mester said Friday he hasn't heard any updates.

Copyright 2013. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, March 22, 2013 --- 2:34 p.m.

Note: Southern Wisconsin Regional in Janesville is among the towers closed.

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says 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. 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.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 --- 1:22 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Due to federal budget cuts, airport control towers could go dark overnight in Milwaukee or close altogether at eight regional Wisconsin airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration says overnight air-traffic control shifts could be eliminated at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport. The control towers could close outright at smaller airports in Eau Claire, Janesville, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Mosinee, Oshkosh and Waukesha.

Airport officials have until Wednesday to make their cases to be kept open. The FAA will issue a final closure list on March 18. The closures would begin about April 7, unless negotiations in Washington head off the cuts.

If the towers are unstaffed, pilots would have to coordinate takeoffs and landings themselves via radio and visual contact, as they do now at night when towers aren't open.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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