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FAA’s Air Traffic Control Sequester Cuts Would Hit Calif. Airports

The FAA is planning to close air traffic control towers at commuter airports in San Diego, Santa Monica, Sacramento and Riverside if the sequester takes effect. It's also looking at eliminating overnight service at three large California airports.

The sequester would affect airports of all sizes. Larger airports, like Sacramento International and Fresno, would lose their overnight air traffic controllers. And small airports – including 23 in California – would lose air traffic control towers completely. Stockton Metropolitan Airport Director Patrick Carreno said he would lose all of his nine controllers.

“Having a tower obviously helps with the flow of traffic and the safety of the aircraft," Carreno said. "It's important to help with the safety of the airport.”

Flights at the smaller airports like in Stockton and Sacramento Executive would continue to come and go but planes would go through an uncontrolled field. The cuts could start as early as April if the sequester takes effect on Friday.

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