Trade Groups Support Contract Tower Program

 - October 3, 2007, 10:46 AM

Six aviation associations last month submitted a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging it to support full funding of the FAA’s federal contract tower program. The 223 federal contract towers at smaller airports in 46 states represent 45 percent of all towers in the U.S. and handle approximately 25 percent of all control-tower operations in the U.S., according to the letter. The letter also noted that the program’s safety has “been validated numerous times” by the DOT inspector general and FAA audits. The IG has also “verified the cost-effectiveness of the program to taxpayers.” The National Air Traffic Controllers Association disagrees strongly, alleging that the program is inefficient, unsafe and costly.