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FAA to keep 24-hour air traffic control tower at Mitchell International Airport

Mitchell International Airport
Mitchell International Airport

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Federal air traffic controllers will continue their 24-hour service at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport.

But the jury’s still out on whether 8 other Wisconsin airports will lose their control towers due to the federal budget sequester.

The FAA said Wednesday it would not cut off overnight service at Mitchell and 71 other facilities around the country. But the agency has not decided whether it will move ahead with a planned shutdown of 149 towers at smaller airports.

The FAA is giving those airports and their communities until June 15th to pay for the service themselves, until the next federal budget kicks in October 1st.

The Wisconsin towers due for closure are at Milwaukee’s Timmerman Field and airports in Janesville, Waukesha, Kenosha, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, and Mosinee.

The closing issue is separate from the FAA’s furloughs of controllers last month.

Widespread air traffic delays occurred for a week, before Congress approved a quarter-billion dollars in unspent funds to keep all the controllers on the job through September.

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