FAA delays closure of smaller S.C. air traffic towers to June

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it is delaying closure of air traffic control towers at eight smaller airports in the Carolinas because of a required $637 million budget cuts under sequestration.

In all 149 federal contracted air traffic control towers will lose funding, but the original target date of April 7 has been pushed back to June 15.

The administration writes that some 50 towers may secure their own funding and that, "additional time will allow the agency to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions.  As part of the tower closure implementation process, the agency continues to consult with airports and operators and review appropriate risk mitigations. Extending the transition deadline will give the FAA and airports more time to execute the changes to the National Airspace System."

The hundreds of millions of dollars in budget decreases will effectively close towers at five North Carolina Airports and three in South Carolina. The closures will not force any of the airports out of business however, as pilots will now use a shared radio frequency to coordinate take-offs and landings.

The FAA says towers will be closed at the following airports:

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