Federal budget funds Eau Claire air traffic control towers

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Eau Claire (WEAU) -- The new federal budget provides $140 million for air traffic control contracts at more than 250 small airports in Wisconsin and across the country.

The budget funds contracts through the end of September 2014. Many of the control towers were targeted for closure last year because of federal budget cuts. The towers are operated by private contractors, and the Federal Aviation Administration proposed ending those contracts. The FAA later delayed their cancellation.

Charity Speich with the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport says the airport is happy the federal funding was approved. She says, "Studies by the inspector general has shown contract-run towers are safer and more efficient than FAA operated towers."

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