US shuts 149 airport control towers

Washington, March 23 (IANS) The US has announced that 149 airport control towers will be closed across the country beginning April 7 due to a budget saving implementation plan.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
“Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration,” Xinhua quoted LaHood as saying.
Roughly $85 billion of spending cuts started to hit various US governmental departments this year starting March 1. The spending cuts were included in the August 2011 debt reduction package.
Authorities will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 air traffic control towers beginning April 7, part of its efforts to save $637 million spending this year, according to the statement.