By: Georgia Lobb
Photo courtesy of The Atlantic Wire
Due to recent budget cuts across the board of transportation, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that over 170 air traffic control towers are set to shut down on April 7th, according to Transportation Nation.
These closures will affect small and medium sized airports. There will be another round of closings on September 30th.
According to ABC.com, the FAA has only had three closures in the past 30 years, which makes the news of the 173 closures in the near future extremely poignant to some aviation workers and advocates.
Spencer Dickinson, executive director of the U.S. Contract Tower Association told MSN.com “”We’re deeply concerned about it. We’re disappointed and very discouraged that FAA has continued this path versus trying to find ways to keep the towers open.”
So far, the FAA hasn’t publicly commented on the mass amount of closures.
“So while the cuts won’t mean any canceled flights, closed airports, or government layoffs, they will place an added burden on FAA’s actual employees, at will put some people out of work,” reports Dashiell Bennett of TheAtlanticWire.com.
The sequester cost the FAA a reported $600 million of their annual budget.
John Cozart, of Robinson Aviation, Inc, told CNN.com that the FAA’S decision was unexpected and that he’s “having to lay off a ton of people because of this.”
As for our safety, some worry that less air control towers mean less help for pilots in flight.
In Connecticut, air controls towers in Bridgeport, Danbury, Groton, Hartford, New Haven, and Oxford will close.
You can find a full list of the closures here: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/Facilities_Could_Be_Closed.pdf