Salinas tower on FAA list of sequestration closures

March 22, 2013 1:16:19 PM PDT
A Salinas air traffic control tower will be part of the Federal Aviation Administration's shutdown of 149 towers nationwide, FAA officials announced Friday.

The tower at the Salinas Municipal Airport, located at 30 Mortensen Ave., will be part of a four-week phased closure beginning on April 7 because of federal budget sequestration cuts.

The sequestration went into effect March 1 after the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction did not reach a compromise, putting in place $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that will roll out over the next decade.

The tower closures are part of the agency's sequestration implementation plan affecting its 47,000 employees. Originally 189 towers were planned to close to meet budget requirements of $637 million in cuts.

Forty towers were spared that faced potential closure, including ones in San Carlos, Napa, Santa Rosa, Concord, and Livermore.

Twenty-four towers that were part of the original closure plan were kept open because their closure would "have a negative impact on the national interest," FAA officials said in a statement today.

An additional 16 towers will remain open under a federal "cost share" program that requires funding that was cut by 5 percent but will keep those towers operable, according to the FAA.

In some cities where towers will close, FAA officials said there is a non-federal program option to continue air traffic control services via an alternate funding source.


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