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FAA delays tower closures

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that it would delay the closures of all 149 air traffic control towers on its list until June 15. This includes towers at the Pocatello and Idaho Falls airports.

The agency said the delay would allow it to respond to various legal challenges that have arisen due to the proposed closures.

Last month, the FAA announced it would eliminate funding for these towers as part of the agency's required $637 million budget cuts under sequestration.

"This has been a complex process and we need to get this right," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a news release. "Safety is our top priority. We will use this additional time to make sure communities and pilots understand the changes at their local airports."

Before the postponement, the FAA was to begin a four-week phased closure of the contract towers Sunday.

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