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Air Traffic Towers
America's pilots will need to coordinate more flights among themselves if 198 of the country's 514 air traffic control towers close, as planned. The Federal Aviation Administration has said it will cut $637 million and furlough most of its 47,000 employees for one day per pay period. It announced on March 22 it will close 149 contracted air towers over a four-week period beginning April 7, down from 189 such closures originally planned. Another 49 towers staffed by FAA controllers are to close, according a list released Feb. 22 by the agency. While airlines can operate safely at airports with closed towers, operations are expected to slow, Alan Levin reports.