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Troutdale Airport's control tower gets reprieve, for now

Troutdale Airport’s air traffic control tower will stay open after all, at least until the end of the 2013 fiscal year, announced U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday, May 10.

The Federal Aviation Administration had planned to shutter 149 such towers at small airports across the country, including four in Oregon, as the result of automatic budget cuts to government agencies, also known as sequestration.

Towers at airports in Troutdale, Salem, Pendleton and North Bend were set to close April 21, as the result of $637 million in budget cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration.

That date was then pushed back to June 15.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation, thanks to the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” the FAA can transfer enough money to end employee furloughs, keeping the 149 low activity contract towers open for the remainder of the federal budget year, which ends on Sept. 30.

Oregon airports with towers facing closure were the Troutdale Airport, Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend, Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton and McNary Field in Salem.

Troutdale Airport, located at 999 N.W. Frontage Road in Troutdale, is the state’s third busiest airport.

Its complex houses 15 businesses that provide aviation related services such as fuel, repairs and aircraft instruments.