Columbia Regional Airport's control tower to stay open through September

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Department says 149 control towers at small airports that were slated for closure will remain open at least through Sept. 30.

That includes the tower at Columbia Regional Airport, which was slated to close in nearly four weeks.

The department sent out a brief statement Friday. It says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has determined there is enough extra money, under a bill passed by Congress last month, to keep the towers open through the end of the budget year.

The towers are operated by contractors for the Federal Aviation Administration at low-traffic airports.

They were scheduled to close June 15 as part of the FAA's plan to accommodate automatic spending cuts required by Congress.

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