Cuts would affect five Tennessee airport towers

Associated Press • Feb 23, 2013 at 6:07 AM

SMYRNA, Tenn. -- Five airports around Tennessee would likely be impacted if automated federal budget cuts take effect on March 1.

According to media reports, the cuts could mean that air traffic control towers are closed at regional airports in Smyrna, Jackson and Millington. In addition, overnight staffing could be eliminated at airport towers in Nashville and Knoxville.

Under the impending cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration would have to slice $600 million from its budget this year. In order to do that, a majority of workers would be furloughed and more than 100 towers at smaller airports nationwide could be closed.

Smyrna Airport Authority Director John Black says the action would be "very detrimental" to the airport's operations.

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