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Missouri Congress Members Question Air Tower Closures

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Pilots of the Southwest flight that landed at the wrong airport said they thought the runway lights belonged to Branson's airport. (CBS St. Louis)

Pilots of the Southwest flight that landed at the wrong airport said they thought the runway lights belonged to Branson’s airport. (CBS St. Louis)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Several Congress members from Missouri are raising questions about a federal plan to close air traffic control towers at some local airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a list of 238 airports were control towers could be closed as a result of budget cuts enacted under the so-called sequester. The list includes airports for five Missouri cities Branson, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and St. Joseph.

U.S. Reps. Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long and Blaine Luetkemeyer wrote to federal aviation officials saying the potential cuts appear to disproportionately fall on airports that use contractors for air traffic controllers. They said the federal proposal “borders on reckless behavior.”

The Congress members want the FAA to explain why airports with contracted control towers should receive larger cuts.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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