FAA: Anoka, St. Cloud air traffic control towers marked for closure


The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday the closure of 149 air traffic control towers due to budget cuts -- two of them in Minnesota, KARE-TV reports.

The towers are at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport (Janes Field) in Minneapolis and St. Cloud Regional Airport.

The announcement comes a month to the day the FAA revealed a preliminary list of air traffic control facilities facing closure because of the automatic federal budget cuts known as "sequestration."

Despite the tower closures, both airports will remain open.

According to KARE, pilots will now have to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves, using a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. Pilots already have training to do this, but airport directors are reportedly concerned about how the closure will affect air safety.

That's something they are trained to do, but airport directors have raised concerns about the potential impact on safety.

Also closing are three air traffic control towers in Wisconsin: the Central Wisconsin tower in Mosinee; the Chippewa Valley Regional airport tower in Eau Claire; and the Kenosha Regional Airport tower.

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