The terminal and control tower at Idaho Falls Regional Airport
The Associated Press reported today the Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers, including the ones in Idaho Falls and Pocatello, until mid-June in order to deal with legal challenges.

The FAA said today the closures will be delayed until June 15. Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Washington.

The first 24 closures had been scheduled for Sunday. FAA officials said the closures are necessary to accommodate automatic spending cuts brought about by the March 1 sequestration.

The agency says about 50 airport operators and communities have also indicated they may want to pay for operation of the towers themselves, and more time is needed to work out those details. Earlier this week, Idaho Falls Regional Airport Director Craig Davis said he would be shifting money in the airport's budget from maintenance and other areas to keep the tower operating through Oct. 1. After that, it would be up to the City Council to decide whether to keep the tower in operation. The annual cost of operating the tower is close to $425,000, he said.