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Budget cuts may close airport towers in Va., W.Va.

Monday - 2/25/2013, 11:00am  ET

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Control towers at five airports in West Virginia and two in Virginia could close by April 1 if lawmakers fail to head off federal budget cuts set to take effect Friday.

The Federal Aviation Administration warns it will have to close 100 towers at airports with fewer than 150,000 flights a year as part of its plan to trim $600 million in costs.

In West Virginia, only the towers at Morgantown and Charleston would remain open.

Slated for closure are towers at Bridgeport, Wheeling, Huntington, Lewisburg and Parkersburg.

In Virginia, the Manassas and Lynchburg towers would close.

Flights would still run, but pilots using radios would have to coordinate landings and takeoffs themselves, with no assistance from air-traffic controllers. That could lead to delays clearing runways.




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