Federal officials might turn off the lights at the Santa Monica Airport traffic control tower.
The city's Airport Director Bob Trimborn said he and the FAA have not fully evaluated what the impacts might be, but did say the closure would make the airport less efficient.
"Our airport is on a list of proposed closures, that doesn't mean it will be closed," he told Patch.
At the city's Airport Commission meeting Monday night, Trimborn said if the tower does shutter, pilots could instead communicate with the tower at the Los Angeles International Airport and at the Southern California Terminal Approach Control Facility in San Diego.
Trimborn also assured the commission, which is an advisory board to the City Council, there are protocols in place for airports operating without towers.
"Most airports, most general aviation airports, don't have control towers," he said. "They follow what they call non-tower airport procedures."
The control tower at Santa Monica is staffed by 17 FAA employees and is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The FAA initially identified 240 towers for closure, each of those had less than 150,000 flights a year or fewer than 10,000 annual passengers. About 134,000 prop planes and jets flew in and out of SMO last year.
In addition to those that it might close permanently, the FAA is also looking at eliminating overnight operations at more than 60 towers at airports across the country, including in Sacramento.
Though the massive federal budget cuts known as "the sequester" could start Friday, the FAA has said it would not begin shutting down towers until April.
"This is a very new item to us," Trimborn said on Monday night. "We've been discussing the ramifications on the airport with the FAA throughout the day."