In a decision that will have an impact on five Illinois airports, the Federal Aviation Administration is delaying the closing of 149 control towers across the country. The first of the shutdowns was planned for Sunday, but the FAA is delaying all closings until June 15 because of legal challenges raised by airport tower operators.
In Illinois, the control towers in Bethalto and Carbondale were scheduled to close later this month, and towers in Bloomington-Normal, Decatur and Waukegan next month. David Miller manages St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto. He says there is plenty of activity at the airport, whether or not the tower remains open.
If the tower were to close, there are procedures in place that would allow air traffic to continue. The closings are tied to federal budget cuts that Congress chose not to avoid.