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Cuts shut 2 towers at upstate airports; 2 are open

ROME, N.Y. (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close air traffic control towers at airports in Ithaca and Rome, N.Y., part of a round of closures forced by federal budget cuts.

The agency says towers at Ithaca Regional airport and Griffiss International in Rome will be closed starting April 7. The FAA is closing 149 towers nationwide.

Towers at two other airports in New York, Francis S. Gabreski at Westhampton Beach and Niagara Falls International, were on the preliminary closure list but will stay open.

All the affected airports will remain open. Pilots will have to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. They are trained to do that, but airport directors have raised concerns about the potential impact on safety.