Transportation Secretary Pledged to Keep Small Towers Open
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Transportation Secretary is said to be assuring lawmakers that 149 small airport towers will remain open.
Those 149 small airport towers include Yakima, Walla Walla, Moses Lake and Pendleton.
Ray LaHood is telling lawmakers the Obama administration will prevent the closure of those towers, as well as end furloughs of air traffic controllers nationwide, as a result of legislation passed by Congress. That's according to officials involved in negotiations on the bill.
The disclosure came as senators put signatures on a letter to LaHood, saying that their support of the legislation was based on the understanding that the towers would be "fully funded."
The 149 towers at small airports had been ticketed for possible closure in June as the FAA carries out its share of the across-the-board spending cuts that took effect in March.
A spokesman for LaHood says the department is reviewing the legislation and will make a decision about the towers.