Federal aviation regulators will keep 149 contractor-staffed airport towers open at least through Sept. 30 after Congress authorized budget transfers to stave off planned closings.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday in an emailed statement that the Federal Aviation Administration would also transfer $21 million within its budget to pay for technology programs and maintenance of the air traffic infrastructure.
The FAA had planned to stop funding the towers at midsize airports in June as part of its effort to cut $637 million this fiscal year under across-the-board budget trims known as sequestration. The proposal prompted a lawsuit by at least 30 airports.
LaHood said that funding “for the remainder of fiscal year 2013” would allow towers to remain open. The statement did not address whether the agency would attempt to revisit cuts for those facilities next year.