(WBEN/AP) Federal authorities have released a list of New York airports where control towers may be closed or lose overnight operations because of automatic federal budget cuts and Buffalo and Niagara Falls are on the list.
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Air traffic controller and TSA worker furloughs are expected to begin about April 7, unless negotiations in Washington head off the cuts.
The facilities that could close include Niagara Falls International, Binghamton Tower in Johnson City, Francis S. Gabreski in Westhampton Beach, Ithaca Tompkins Regional, Dutchess County in Wappingers Falls and Griffiss International in Rome. There are 238 airports across the country on the tower closing list.
Among 72 towers that could lose midnight shifts are Buffalo, Rochester and Albany and Syracuse.
The overall plan involves closing more than 100 air traffic control facilities; eliminating the overnight shift at over 60 facilities; and reducing preventive maintenance and support for all air traffic control equipment, the FAA said.
"All of these changes will be finalized as to scope and details through collaborative discussions with our users and our unions," the FAA said,
Talks to avert the 85 Billion in automatic spending cuts fell through. President Obama had insisted on replacing the cuts, known as a "sequester" in government budget language, with tax increases and cuts spread out over time. Republicans rejected any plan that included tax revenue.
The government says the reductions will soon result in furlough notices to government employees and will trim government spending on defense contracts and in domestic government programs.