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Friday, April 5, 2013

F.A.A. Study: Control Towers May Not Prevent Crashes At Small Airports

A Cessna aircraft is parked near by the air traffic control tower at the Collin County Regional Airport at McKinney Friday, March 22, 2013, in McKinney, Texas. The tower at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney is scheduled for closure. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

A Cessna aircraft is parked near by the air traffic control tower at the Collin County Regional Airport at McKinney Friday, March 22, 2013, in McKinney, Texas. The tower at Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney is scheduled for closure. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

Starting this Sunday, thousands of pilots at small airports will have to rely on what is called “see and avoid ” meaning look out for other planes to avoid crashes, as the federal aviation administration begins to close towers in 149 airports in 38 states as part of the budget sequester which requires federal officials to cut $85 billion in spending this year

Kansas Republican senator Jerry Moran who is trying to restore funding for the towers in his state says it’s putting lives at risk and compares it to taking down stop signs on roads. And some communities are suing to stop tower closures, saying they want the FAA to do more safety analysis.

But Bloomberg News obtained an FAA study of more than 200 airports, which shows that control towers at small airports don’t prevent crashes.

Guest:

  • Alan Levin, Bloomberg News FAA Regulation Reporter

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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