DOT: Contract Towers Will Remain Open

149 contract towers slated for closure are saved.

Control Tower
Control Tower

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday afternoon announced that the recently enacted Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 will allow the FAA to transfer enough money to keep 149 contract towers originally slated for closure in June open at least through the end of the fiscal year.

The legislation passed late last month included language that allowed the FAA to put furloughed air traffic controllers back to work full time, but despite not specifically mentioning contract towers, lawmakers made it clear in a letter to LaHood that the money allocated for the agency should also be used to keep towers in operation.

LaHood said the FAA will also put $10 million toward reducing cuts and delays in NextGen programs and will allocate approximately $11 million to partially restore infrastructure funding for the national airspace system.