FAA to delay two midstate airport tower closures

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 5, 2013 3:33 PM
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(Washington) -- The Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers, including two in the midstate, until mid-June in order to deal with legal challenges.

The closures of the towers at Captial City Airport in York County and Lancaster Airport as well as 22 others had been scheduled for Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration says they will be delayed until June 15th.

Congressman Joe Pitts of Lancaster County said in a statement he's glad the FAA is taking more time on the issue. 

“Closing towers at busy airports like Lancaster could have public safety consequences. After consulting with the House Transportation Committee, I am confident in saying the FAA should have enough budget flexibility to keep these towers open," he said. "I hope the delay allows the FAA to make the right decision.”

Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA had filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington.

The agency says about 50 airport operators and communities have also indicated they may want to pay for operation of the towers themselves, and more time is needed to work out those details.

FAA has previously said the closures are necessary to accommodate automatic spending cuts.

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