PHOENIX (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close air traffic control towers at four small airports in Arizona due to federal budget cuts.
The agency announced its decision Friday. It came a month after the FAA released a preliminary list of 238 facilities nationwide with low traffic volumes and control towers operated by contractors that faced closures.
On the list of 149 air traffic control towers to be shut down beginning April 7 are the ones at Glendale Municipal Airport, Phoenix Goodyear Airport, Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City and Ryan Field in Tucson.
The FAA says the airports will remain open. However, pilots would have to coordinate takeoffs and landings themselves via radio and visual contact, as they do now at night when the tower isn't open.
City of Goodyear statement:
"We are very disappointed that the Phoenix-Goodyear Airport was on the FAA's list of airport control tower closures. With the airport's proximity to Luke Air Force Base and the fact that it handles the largest number of take-offs and landings of any tower on the list, we were hopeful that we would be spared from budget cuts.
The City of Goodyear, along with the City of Phoenix, other West Valley Cities, and the tenants of our airport worked together and did everything possible to stress the importance of the tower. Our residents also weighed in with the FAA making their concerns heard in Washington D.C.
We recognize the important role of the Phoenix-Goodyear airport and are working closely with the City of Phoenix, owner of the airport, to identify all available alternatives."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.