The Federal Aviation Administration announced the closures today as part of the agency's plan to cut five percent from its budget. The cuts are mandated by the federal budget sequestration.
The agency will close eleven towers in California including the one in Atwater. Planes will still fly in and out of the airports, but without the assistance of air traffic controllers.
A statement from the FAA says two-dozen federal-contract towers that had been at risk of closure will remain open because closing them "would have a negative impact on the national interest."
Towers that will stay open were determined to be of particular national security, transportation, or economic importance -or they are currently used as a diversionary airport for a large hub.
An additional 16 federal contract towers under the "cost share" program will remain open. Congressional statute sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers.