Front Range airport tower to remain open

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Airplane and Tower

Airplane and Tower

DENVER — The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that the air traffic control tower at Front Range airport will remain open despite the fact that the agency is being forced to shut down 149 towers because of the budget sequester.

The FAA plans to close the 149 towers beginning April 7.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration.”

In early March, FAA proposed to close 189 contract air traffic control towers as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration and announced that it would consider keeping open any of these towers if doing so would be in the national interest.

Front Range Airport is on the northeastern edge of Aurora. In arguing for the airport to keep its tower, directors said its proximity to Denver International Airport meant it was the only close backup to DIA.

The Denver Post reported about a dozen people would lose their jobs if the airport tower had closed.