Coburn: Consider areas other than towers for cuts

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Updated: 3/08/2013 9:18 am Published: 3/08/2013 7:22 am

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.

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