OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Republican Sen. Tom Coburn says the U.S. Department of Transportation should consider areas other than control towers to meet federal budget cuts.
About 200 contract control towers staffed by non-federal employees would be closed under the cuts.
Coburn said Thursday that the FAA faces a loss of about $600 million due to the cuts.
He says the FAA could save about $105 million by cutting spending on consultants, supplies and travel; save $6 million by reducing or eliminating the Small Community Service Development Program; and save $926 million by reducing Airport Improvement Program grants. He says another $118 million would be saved by reducing or eliminating the Essential Air Service Program that provides funding for airlines at small airports.
Coburn's suggestions are in a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood.