NBCRightNow.com – The Federal Aviation Administrations says it will stop its plans to close 149 air traffic contract towers in June, including five in Washington State.
Those five include the Yakima Air Terminal/McAllister Field, Renton Municipal Airport, Tacoma Narrows Airport,Felts Field in Spokane, and Olympia Regional Airport. You can view the full list here.
Washington State's U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell was a leading advocate of keeping the contract towers open and pushed the FAA to use the flexibility granted to the agency by the recently enacted Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 to keep the contract towers open.
Without today's action, the 149 towers were slated for closure on June 15.
The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 passed the U.S. Senate on April 25 and the U.S. House on April 26, and was signed into law by President Obama on May 1. It allows the FAA to transfer up to $253 million in funding from other accounts within the department to the FAA in order to end the furloughs for 47,000 FAA employees and end the planned closure of 149 contract towers.