KINSTON – The Federal Aviation Administration is finalizing plans to close traffic control towers at five North Carolina – and 144 in other states – after granting exceptions to a handful of airports that appealed.
Amid budget cuts, the FAA is pulling controllers from Kinston Regional Jetport on April 7. Similar moves will follow at airports in New Bern, Winston-Salem, Hickory and Concord later in April and May. The airports themselves will remain open, but pilots will have to rely more heavily on instrumentation during take-offs and landings.
Two dozen towers were considered for closure but will remain open. Several are in thinly populated western states. The closest to North Carolina are in the Nashville and Atlanta areas.