Dubuque Control Tower On List To Close Because Of Cuts - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Dubuque Control Tower On List To Close Because Of Cuts

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The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close 149 air traffic control towers at small airports around the country because of federal budget cuts.

The agency announced the decision Friday. The airports that use contractors in control towers are scheduled to close by April 7. In our area, Dubuque is on the list. It's the only airport mentioned in Iowa. In Illinois, control towers in Alton, Decatur, Bloomington, Carbondale and Waukegan are included on the list.

The FAA says all of the affected airports will remain open. Pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. That's something they are trained to do, but airport directors have raised concerns about the potential impact on safety.

In a news release, the U.S. Contract Tower Association says the decision raises serious safety, efficiency, and economic concerns that the agency has failed to consider.

A list of the towers slated for closure can be viewed here.