Airport towers avert closures for now

Nearly 150 air traffic control towers nationwide, including 2 in the Topeka area, will be staying open for a few more months.

The transportation department sent out a brief statement today saying the towers will remain open through at least September 30th.

The towers were slated to close due to forced budget cuts.

Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood has determined there is enough extra money, under a bill passed by congress last month, to keep the towers open through the end of the budget year.

That would include towers at Topeka’s Forbes Field and Billard Airport.

In a statement, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran says “It’s been a long fight since our original amendment to prevent the towers from closing and preserve aviation safety was blocked from a vote, but in the end common sense prevailed over politics.”

The towers are operated by contractors for the federal aviation administration at low-traffic airports.

They were scheduled to close June 15.

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