The Obama administration is delaying the closing of 149 airport control towers until mid-June in order to deal with legal challenges.

The first 24 closures had been scheduled for Sunday. Trade groups representing companies that operate the towers under contract for FAA filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Washington.

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.

The FAA has previously said the closures are necessary to accommodate automatic spending cuts.

The tower at the New Bedford Regional Airport (above) was among those scheduled for closing.  Mayor Jon Mitchell says the New Bedford tower will not close.  He says the City is working on a plan to have experienced pilots take the place of controllers once the layoffs take place.

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