FAA mulls flight control cuts at Des Moines, Omaha

FAA could end midnight air traffic controller shifts at Des Moines, Omaha airports

Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Airport control towers in Des Moines and Omaha could go dark during overnight hours if the federal government follows through with a plan to eliminate midnight air traffic controller shifts. It's because of the government's automatic spending cuts.

Executives at Des Moines and Omaha airports expect no disruption since commercial flight schedules end before midnight. Planes could still land and takeoff without controllers since all pilots are trained to use electronic Instrument Landing System equipment.

The FAA says it may eliminate overnight shifts at 72 airports beginning early April including Eppley Airfield in Omaha and Des Moines International.

Control towers at 238 smaller airports including Waterloo, Dubuque, and Sioux City in Iowa and Grand Island, Neb., could be completely closed.

The FAA is expected to decide by next week.

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