Published: Mar 26, 2013 5:24 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 26, 2013 5:38 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Bob Ball, the Executive Director of the Lee County Port Authority, says closing the control towers at Page Field, Punta Gorda and Naples, is a lot like replacing the traffic lights on US 41 with stop signs.

Sure, he says, the stop signs will work, but travel will take a lot longer.

Only WINK News was there as Ball addressed the Airport Board Tuesday afternoon. Ball spent several days in Washington D.C. recently fighting to keep the three towers open. The towers are on the list of 149 control towers nationwide slated to close starting April 7th.

"We have the safest and most efficient air travel system in the world. This takes us several steps backwards," Ball said.

The towers at Page Field and Punta Gorda Airport will close April 21st. The tower at Naples Municipal Airport will close May 5th.

The closures are part of more than $600 million in spending cuts to the FAA.