TODAY   |  March 23, 2013

Budget cuts lead to airport control tower shutdowns

The Senate has approved a $3.7 trillion budget, but there are still some victims of the sequester. In two weeks, 38 states will see control tower shutdowns at several airports across the country. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> breaking news overnight. the senate has just approved a $3.7 trillion budget. meanwhile, the budget crisis and congressional sequester has claimed another victim. air traffic control towers at small and medium sized airports across the country. pete williams has more and joins us now. pete, good morning.

>> reporter: jenna, good morning. the faa says it must take this step to meet the goal of cutting more than $600 million out of its budget so starting in two weeks it will shut down air traffic control towers in 38 states affecting operations at 149 small and medium sized airports nationwide. this is not expected to have much impact on commercial airline schedules but it will affect operations at airports like frederick municipal in maryland where private planes operate. the towers will shut down because the faa is laying off the contract controllers. another example, greenville, south carolina , which handles an average of 80 flights a day. these airports will not shut down completely because most planes can land without controllers but it could put more demand on other faa facilities which will have their own problems coping with layoffs. the group that speaks for private plane owners calls this extremely disappointing and says the faa , the same federal agency for assuring aviation safety is taking steps to compromise it. jenna?

>> pete williams , thank you very