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FAA to close 5 Mass. airport towers

BOSTON — The air traffic control towers at five Massachusetts airports will soon be closed as part of massive budget-cutting at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The towers at airports in Beverly, New Bedford, Lawrence, Worcester, and Norwood will shut down early next month.

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The closures are among 149 at smaller airports nationwide. The FAA was forced to cut $637 million from its budget as part of $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts.

None of the airports will shut down. Pilots will instead coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency, without help from ground controllers.

The five towers were among six facing the budget ax. The tower at a Westfield airport was spared.

The Massachusetts congressional delegation had sent a letter to the FAA to protest the closings.

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