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Control Towers To Stay Open at 5 Illinois airports

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois congressmen are reacting with relief to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation that control towers at five small airports in the state will remain open.

Friday's announcement means towers stay open at St. Louis Regional Airport, Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington-Normal, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport serving Carbondale and Murphysboro, and Waukegan Regional Airport 

The control towers had been slated to close June 15 as the result of automatic spending cuts imposed by Congress.  They will now remain open at least through Sept. 30, the end of the federal budget year.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, says closing the towers would have "at minimum, slowed down flights" to the airports. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican, also praised the Federal Aviation Administration's decision.

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