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      Sawyer International on the list for FAA cuts

      The air traffic control tower at Sawyer International Airport could be one of over 100 to close due budget issues, according to a letter from the Department of Transportation.

      Sawyer International Airport's traffic control tower is on a list of over 100 that could be closed. According to the letter from the Department of Transportation, airports with fewer than 150,000 flight operations or 10,000 commercial operations per year meet the criteria for closure.

      Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane Duray said that the airport will operate as normal, and that the traffic control tower adds a level of safety that is nice, but not neccessary for operations to continue.

      Duray added that the old Marquette County Airport operated without an air traffic control tower for decades before its closure.

      The Department of Transportation cites the possible budget sequestration on March 1, 2013 as a reason for these cuts. The FAA says that it plans to reduce expenditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of 2013.

      Also mentioned in the DOT's letter is the elimination of midnight shifts at over 60 towers across the country. Sawyer International Airport is not on that list.