CHICAGO (AP) - The planned shutdown of as many as 238 air traffic control towers across the country under federal budget cuts will strip away an extra layer of safety during takeoffs and landings, leaving pilots to manage the most critical stages of flight on their own.
The towers slated to close are at smaller airports with lighter traffic. But airport directors and pilots say the move increases risk and will slow the progress that has made the U.S. air system the safest in the world.
It's not just private pilots in small planes who stand to be affected. Many of the airports are serviced by major airlines. The cuts could also leave towers unmanned during overnight hours in some big cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee.
- Rep. Walz mulling Democratic bid for Minnesota governor
- Attorney general announces deal on drug overdose treatment
- The Latest: Dakota Access pipeline could be operating soon
- Warm weather a worry for apple growers
- Wisconsin attorney general appeals redistricting ruling
- Appeals court hearing arguments in Wisconsin voting cases
- Police: Twin Cities lawyer fatally struck runner in St. Paul
- Downtown Minneapolis hospital announces layoffs
- Storm misses Birkie course, race canceled
- Vikings' stadium board at full strength after resignations