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Obama To Sign Measure To End Airport Furloughs and Tower Closings

The White House says President Obama will sign a measure approved by Congress Friday that would end the furloughs of air traffic controllers. And the bill could potentially prevent the closing of air traffic control towers using contract workers --- including airports in Central Illinois.

The legislation passed the U-S Senate on Thursday, and the House on Friday. It gives the Federal Aviation Administration extra funding and more budget flexibility to address the cuts it’s made, due to the federal budget sequestration. The extra funding could be used to prevent the closings of contract control towners.

In a news release, the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority expressed “cautious optimism” that the measure is the first step to solving the air traffic control tower funding issue at Bloomington’s Central Illinois Regional Airport.

The F-A-A has announced plans to close contract towers at 149 airports, including those at Bloomington's CIRA and the Decatur.airport. But those closings have been delayed, due to legal challenges made against them.

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