Published: Mar 30, 2013 12:16 AM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) - Airports have begun mounting a legal challenge to the FAA's decision to shut down 149 air traffic control towers under federal budget cuts.
They are arguing in lawsuits that the agency has violated a federal law meant to ensure major changes at airports do not erode safety.
The Central Illinois Regional Airport is among the latest to file suit with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
The other airports are Spokane International Airport in Spokane, Wash., and three airports in Florida. Those include the Naples airport, the Punta Gorda airport and an airport in Ormand Beach. The court has combined the suits into a single case.
Central Illinois airport director Carl Olson says they are asking the court to compel the FAA to more carefully study the potential safety impact.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says the agency can't comment on pending litigation.