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As the Federal Aviation Administration is set to announce Friday the temporary closure of 238 air traffic control towers because of the sequester, the agency is planning to hire “community planners” paid in excess of $100,000 – one at an airport slated to for a possible tower closure.

Funding for the community planners is exempt from sequestration, while funding for air traffic control towers are not exempt from reduced funding, according to the FAA.

The FAA is hiring a community planner in Brisbane, Calif., at a salary of between $67,575 and $126,095. The agency advertised another community planner in Helena, Mont., to be paid between $57,080 and $106,511 per year. The Helena airport is on the FAA list for potential tower closures. The Brisbane airport is not.

The FAA is taking a $637 million budgetary hit from sequestration. Sequestration is a 2.3 percent reduction in spending growth for the entire federal government until the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. On Friday, the agency will announce what air traffic control towers will be closed. The closures will be at airports with fewer than 150,000 flight operations per year.

The sequester went into effect on March 1. The Brisbane, Calif., job was listed as being open to applications from March 5 to March 25. The Helena, Mont., job was listed as open to applications from Feb. 26 to March 11.

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