Closure dates announced for local airport traffic control towers

Towers at Ramona Airport, Brown Field closing

RAMONA, Calif. - The traffic control tower at Ramona Airport will close April 7, and a tower at Brown Field in Otay Mesa will shut down May 5 under the Federal Aviation Administration's forced spending cuts, the agency announced Wednesday.

The San Diego County locations are among 149 federal contract towers nationwide expected to close within a four-week period.

"We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last week.

In early March, the FAA proposed to close nearly 200 towers -- including the structure at Hawthorne Municipal Airport -- as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration.

However, the Hawthorne facility was saved after the FAA made the decision the closure would negatively impact the national interest.

Also on the saved list is Santa Monica Airport, which will be considered in a later round of cuts, according to the FAA.

The federal agency said it was targeting towers at airports with less than 150,000 takeoffs and landings and less than 10,000 commercial flights a year.

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