FAA Tower Closures By The Numbers
The FAA will close 149 federal contract towers beginning April 7, in response to sequestration's budget cuts, the agency announced Friday. The newly revised list is online here (PDF). The agency says closures will be phased in over a four-week period. At least 38 states are affected. Florida is one of the nation's most populous states and it also stands to hold the crown for most closures, served with 14 fewer towers unless changes are made before early May. The FAA says economic impact and threats to national security were considerations as they decided which towers to close. Some of the nation's most populous states hold top spots for the most closures, but one from that group will see very few.
The top five most populous states as listed by worldatlas.com are N.Y., Calif., Ill., Fla., and Texas. Of those, Texas currently has 13 airports on the list for closure, California shows eight and Illinois shows five. New York will lose only two. The complete list of proposed tower closures originally included 189 towers -- 40 of those have been spared. Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia, New Hampshire and New Jersey will each only lose one control tower. To meet the budget cuts demanded by sequestration, the FAA must trim almost $600 million out of its nearly $48 billion budget. The agency employs roughly 47,000 people, the majority of whom are controllers. The FAA says community response made its decisions regarding closure difficult and the agency will work with airports to ensure "procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports." At this time, additional closures are not expected. Find the FAA's news release here.