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FAA to delay 149 airport tower closures until June

Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 3:00 p.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers — including five in Illinois — to deal with legal challenges.

The first closures were scheduled for Sunday, but the administration now says they will be delayed until June 15.

The Federal Aviation Administration has said the closures are necessary to accommodate automatic spending cuts.

Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington-Normal filed a lawsuit last month. It alleged the FAA's plans violated federal law meant to ensure changes at airports don't erode safety.

Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA also filed a lawsuit on Thursday.

The other affected Illinois towers are at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Waukegan Regional Airport near Chicago.

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