Capital City and Lancaster on FAA’s List of Tower Closings

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The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached the decision that 149 federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan on Friday. The agency has made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest. Three Pennsylvania towers, including the Capital City and Lancaster airports – will be shut down under the plan.

An additional 16 federal contract towers under the “cost share” program will remain open because Congressional statute sets aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share program funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5 percent cut will not result in tower closures.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration.”

“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

In early March, FAA proposed to close 189 contract air traffic control towers as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration and announced that it would consider keeping open any of these towers if doing so would be in the national interest.

The national interest considerations included: (1) significant threats to national security as determined by the FAA in consultation with the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security; (2) significant, adverse economic impact that is beyond the impact on a local community; (3) significant impact on multi-state transportation, communication or banking/financial networks; and (4) the extent to which an airport currently served by a contract tower is a critical diversionary airport to a large hub.

In addition to reviewing materials submitted on behalf of towers on the potential closure list, DOT consulted with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and conducted operational assessments of each potential tower closure on the national air transportation system.

Some communities will elect to participate in FAA’s non-federal tower program and assume the cost of continued, on-site air traffic control services at their airport (see Advisory Circular AC 90-93A.) The FAA is committed to facilitating this transition.

The FAA will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 federal contract towers beginning on April 7.

To view the FAA Contract Tower Closure List click here

Source: Federal Aviation Administration


  • HowIgnorantRU?

    As one of millions of Americans who does not fly, why are taxes paying for operating these towers? Each plane should have a toll for service that the tower provides. That toll to be paid by the owner of the plane whether commercial or private. Said toll pays for operation of the tower. Problem solved. Unnecessary Federal expenditure eliminated from the budget. Chew on THAT, Congress.

  • conleav8tr

    @ HowIgnorantRU: They do pay a toll. It's called, fuel tax, sales tax, corporate tax, income tax…. Maybe we should pay a toll for every road we drive on? I'm assuming it was easy for you to come with that name too?

    • HowIgnorantRU?

      Apparently those taxes do not cover or are not channeled to the costs of manned towers. Costs for any transportation system should be levied upon the users of that system. Toll interstates are okay by me. Use it – pay for it. Don't use it – don't be forced to pay for it. Sustainability & responsibility.

      My handle was created from my first posts. I have been contemplating changing it.

      • HowIgnorantRU?

        Additionally, we kind of expect that the PA Turnpike takes care of itself with the tolls but when you consider the recent revealing of free-rides and pay-to-play, we come to realize that the corruption gets in the way.

  • Prettydarnsmart!

    Good call conleav8tr! Unlike our costly road system that comes right out of the poor taxpayers pocket, most of the funding to run the NAS actually comes from the Aviation Trust Fund… and,

    Trust Fund revenues are derived from excise taxes on:
    Domestic airline passenger tickets
    Domestic airline passenger flight segments
    International passenger arrivals and departures
    Air cargo waybills
    Aviation fuels
    Amounts paid for the right to provide mileage awards

    • HowIgnorantRU?

      So why aren't these monies used for what appears to be a necessary safety program such as the towers? Similarly, why aren't fuel taxes and licensing fees completely used to fund roadway infrastructure?

      • HowIgnorantRU?

        Let me add this: I collect rent from rental property. That money is used to pay mortgage, taxes and maintenance of the property. The rent money also pays for my effort (salary). Self-sustained system.

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