The air traffic control tower at McCollum Airport in Kennesaw will continue to operate for at least two months after federal regulators announced the closing of 149 small airport towers across the country is being delayed until June 15.
McCollum, along with six other Georgia airports and 142 others nationally, had expected either to be shut down, or to have to find alternative financing to stay open, after it was announced that federal budget cuts would be shutting them down.
The six other Georgia control towers also getting a reprieve are: Fulton County-Brown Field, Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville, Athens-Ben Epps, Columbus Metropolitan, Southwest Georgia Regional in Albany and Middle Georgia Regional in Macon.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it needs more time to deal with legal challenges to the closures.
Also, about 50 airport authorities and other “stakeholders” have indicated they want to fund the operations of the towers themselves rather than see them shut down, and more time will be needed to work out those plans, the agency said in a statement. Obama administration officials have said the closures are necessary to accomplish government-wide automatic spending cuts required by Congress.