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Missouri to lose two air traffic control towers to budget battle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri airports in Branson and Columbia are among those that will have their towers shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration because of federal budget cuts.

Towers at the Branson Airport and Columbia Regional Airport will stop operations.

The closures will not force the shutdown of either airport. But pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.

The plan has raised concerns over the impact on safety and the potential financial effect on communities that rely on airports as economic engines for attracting business.

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