One that was set to close is in Frederick.
Five air traffic control towers in Maryland will remain open for a little longer. The Obama Administration is delaying the closure of these facilities until June, one of which is located at Frederick Municipal Airport.
The towers were slated to be closed this year due to sequestration, deep budgets which were approved by Congress in 2012, and went into affect earlier this year to help erase the federal deficit. These cuts were supposed to be so severe that members of Congress would work to come up with alternatives. But that never came and the cuts took affect.
"We are going to continue to work to eliminate sequestration, and keep the towers open," says Senator Ben Cardin.
He and Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Congressmen John Delaney and Dutch Ruppersberger, signed a letter to US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to delay these closures until September.
In its announcement, the Obama Administration said the delay of the closures resulted from a lawsuit filed on Thursday. A trade group representing the companies which contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to operate these facilities, decided to take its case to court.
In addition to the facility in Frederick, air traffic control towers in Hagerstown, Easton, Salisbury-Ocean City and Martin State Airport were scheduled to close. They were part of 149 towers across the country expected to shut down this year.
Senator Cardin says he has heard from constituents about proposals to close these towers. "We heard from local businesses that would have impacted by the tower being closed. We heard from local governments who are very concerned about this. We heard from individuals who thought this actually made no sense. 'We just built this brand new tower and we can't operate it at full capacity. That makes no sense at all,'" says Cardin.
He says the Frederick air traffic control tower is important for national security, noting that Camp David is nearby.
With this reprieve, Cardin says this will give Congress time to come up with alternatives to sequestration. "It's our number-one priority. We're working very closely. Our entire delegation, Senator Mikulski, Congressman Delaney, all of us have been working together on this issue. Our top priority is to eliminate these type of senseless, across-the-board cuts that can really cause damage to a local community," Senator Cardin says.