8 Wis. airports get tower closure reprieves

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration's decision to delay the closings of control towers at 149 airports across the country means a reprieve for eight Wisconsin airports.

The affected towers are operated by private contractors, and the FAA said Friday it's delaying the closures until June 15.

The Wisconsin towers on the list are at the airports in Mosinee, Eau Claire, Kenosha, Janesville, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Waukesha, and at Timmerman Airport in Milwaukee. Those towers were going to lose their funding April 21 or May 5.

La Crosse airport manager Clint Torp says the delay gives them a little more time to try to persuade Congress to keep the towers open. The La Crosse tower employs four full-time controllers. The airport has eight commercial and about 60 general aviation flights a day.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers until mid-June in order to deal with legal challenges.

The first 24 closures had been scheduled for Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday the closures will be delayed until June 15. Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA filed a lawsuit Thursday 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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