The Federal Aviation Administration has delayed the closure of 149 airport towers until June 15 to allow time to handle legal challenges.
The first closures were initially scheduled for Sunday, April 7, but several lawsuits against the measure have been filed. The Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington-Normal filed last month, alleging the FAA is violating a federal law that was put in place to help ensure no changes made at airports threaten safety. Another suit was filed Thursday by trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under FAA contract.
The FAA says automatic spending cuts have made the closures necessary.
Besides the Central Illinois Regional Airport, towers at the St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale, Waukegan Regional Airport, and the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville are also affected.
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