The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday plans to close 149 air-traffic-control towers starting early next month, and said it would spare another 40 towers that had been on the chopping block. Pilots at affected airports (mostly small ones, though even O'Hare could see some changes) will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves by communicating over a shared radio frequency. Besides the obvious safety concerns, it's unclear whether airlines will choose not to frequent airports without towers, meaning possible economic ramifications for communities that rely on transportation and travel business. The FAA is being forced to cut $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year as part of the $85 billion sequestration cuts that went into effect March 1. Thanks a lot, John Boehner.
Read the full list of tower closures here.