Small airport control towers are feeling the sequester cuts - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Small airport control towers are feeling the sequester cuts


Small airports around the country are preparing for the latest impacts of the sequester cuts.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered 149 towers to shut down starting in April.

The announcement comes one day after Congress passed a temporary budget that offered little relief to agencies facing the across-the-board cuts.

At Maryland's Frederick Municipal Airport there was great disappointment Friday afternoon.

The control tower is one 149 now preparing to shut down.

Air traffic controllers say pilots will now have to land their planes without an extra set of eyes in the tower.

"It's a struggle.  This is the real life impact of the sequestration cuts," said airport manager Kevin Daugherty.

On Thursday Congress left most of the spending cuts in place when lawmakers passed a short term budget to keep the government running through September.

However, the continuing resolution did give certain departments more leeway, for instance reducing the impacts of furloughs to the Pentagon, the Border Patrol and meat inspectors.

On Capitol Hill Friday Senators turned their attention to next year's budget, bracing for a marathon session that could last into Saturday morning.

They're voting on dozens of amendments to the Democratic spending plan in the hopes of passing a budget for the first time in four years.

"The first priority of our Senate budget is creating jobs from the middle out not the top down," said Washington Senator Patty Murray.

Thursday the House passed its own Republican budget without support from a single Democrat.

The two budgets take nearly opposite approaches to the deficit.

Republicans focus on spending cuts, while Democrats want new revenue.

Any real efforts at compromise will be on hold for the next two weeks while lawmakers return home for their spring break.

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