North Bend airport to keep control tower operating

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- The federal government says the control tower at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend will not be closed.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says all 149 small airport towers set to close because of budget cuts at the FAA will remain open.

One airport commissioner told KCBY News that they are happy to hear those workers will keep their jobs. "Ours are contracted, so we as a district we don't pay for them," said Helen Brunell Mineau. "For us, they asked us if we wanted to continue having them in the tower, we as a district could come up with the money to pay them, but we don't have that kind of money laying around."

Funding to keep the towers open was part of an agreement signed by the President to avoid cutbacks at larger airports nationwide.