WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers until mid-June in order to deal with legal challenges.
The towers included those at Tacoma Narrows, Renton Municipal and Olympia Regional airports in Western Washington. Eastern Washington airports included Felts Field in Spokane and the Yakima Air Terminal.
The first 24 closures had been scheduled for Sunday.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday the closures will be delayed until June 15. Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Washington.
The agency says about 50 airport operators and communities have also indicated they may want to pay for operation of the towers themselves, and more time is needed to work out those details.
FAA has previously said the closures are necessary to accommodate automatic spending cuts.