FAA sued again over flight tower closings

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"It's unfortunate that our efforts to reason with the FAA to keep contract towers open and operational have fallen on deaf ears," AAAE President and U.S. Contract Tower Association Executive Director J. Spencer Dickerson said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. 

"We must now rely on either Congress or the Courts to step in and keep the agency from proceeding with the closure of important air traffic control facilities that play a critical role in ensuring air safety in communities across the country," Dickerson continued.

The FAA has come under intense scrutiny from Republicans in Congress for its plans to close flight towers and furlough air traffic controllers because of the sequester.

Congressional Republicans have accused the FAA of trying to score political points by choosing to make cuts that would have a negative impact on airline passengers.

But the FAA says the sequester mandates it to make equal cuts across its budget. Federal agencies are required to cut about 9 percent of their total 2013 spending under the law.

The AAAE's lawsuit is similar to a suit that was also filed this month by airports in Bloomington, Ill., Spokane, Wash., and Ormond Beach, Fla. The individual airports' lawsuits, which were also filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, were combined into one case.

Additionally, officials in Texas said last week that they would pay to keep 13 airports open that had been targeted for closure by the FAA.