WASHINGTON -- Good news for St. Cloud Regional Airport...the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today (Friday) 149 air traffic control towers at small airports will remain open until at least September 30th.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced in a memo there is enough extra money in the bill passed by Congress last month to keep the towers open until the end of the fiscal year.

St. Cloud Regional Airport Director Bill Towle says that is certainly welcome news as they were about to start shutdown operations.  He says they still would have been able to allow planes to take off and land but it's an added layer of safety at the airport.

The tower was slated to close June 15th under the federal sequester that triggered automatic spending cuts.