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FAA to close 11 control towers at California airports
March 23, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Eleven air traffic control towers at small airports throughout California were on the Federal Aviation Administration's list of nationwide facilities to be closed starting next month due to automatic spending cuts, according to a list released Friday.

The California closures range from Executive Airport in Sacramento to Brown Field in San Diego. They are among 149 contract towers that are FAA certified by not staffed by government employees and will stop operating as the FAA trims $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year as a result of budget cuts.

Also on the list are Castle Airport in Merced County, Salinas Municipal in Monterey County, Fullerton Municipal in Orange County and Oxnard Airport in Ventura County.

Two control towers in Riverside County -- Riverside Municipal and Ramona -- were listed, along with control facilities at Victorville's Southern California Logistics Airport in San Bernardino County, Whiteman Airport in Los Angeles and Gen. William J. Fox Airfield in northern Los Angeles County.

The tower closures will not shut down the airports, but will leave pilots to coordinate departures, arrivals and other movement among themselves via shared radio frequencies.

"We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.

The FAA said it would help efforts by communities that choose to assume the cost of air traffic control services at their airports.

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