CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local congressman is among the lawmakers who introduced a bill that would restore funding to federally contracted air traffic control towers.

The bipartisan bill would restore funding for the 149 control towers nationwide set to lose federal dollars in mid-June, all without appropriating new funds.

In a statement released Wednesday, Congressman Richard Hudson said, Air-traffic-control towers have served a vital role in our country's aviation infrastructure and are integral to the success of local businesses and rural communities... and should not be closed without an opportunity to evaluate alternative approaches the FAA could take within its operating budget.

The Air Traffic Control Tower Funding Restoration Act would restore funding for the axed control towers through rescission of unobligated funds within the current FAA budget.

The FAA announced the closure of 149 federally-contracted control towers in an effort to meet budgetary demands due to the sequestration.

The closures were set to take effect this past weekend, but the FAAannounced the closures have been delayed until June 15 to better allow the agency and airports to execute changes to the National Airspace System, and to resolve multiple legal challenges.

Locally, the control towers at both the Concord and Hickory Regional Airports are slated to lose their federal funding June 15.

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