FAA to Eliminate Funding for the Nation’s Contract Air Traffic Control Towers
– The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will recommend that, in January 2013, FAA eliminate funding for all of the nation's contract air traffic control towers utmost affecting towers at airports used by the general aviation (GA) community.
Due to the congressional Super Committee's failure last month to reach a deficit reduction deal, across-the-board federal agency cuts will include the contract air traffic control tower program at non-commercial service GA airports. This budgetary cut would eliminate a key safety element within national air transportation system, since half of the country's contract towers would shut down services in 2013.
Many airports are located well within the very active Class B or Class C controlled airspace accommodating a significant mix of corporate/business aircraft, along with a substantial student pilot training. Those depend on the air traffic control services provided, including issuing flight safety-specific clearances to arriving or departing pilots and training flights.
Over the past three decades, the FAA's contract tower program has represented one of the agency's most cost-effective safety initiatives; with ATC services never being compromised.