The AAAE/U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA) and eight other associations have written to Republican and Democratic appropriations committee leaders in the House and Senate, urging them to provide $154.4 million in the budget for the fully funded and cost-share towers in FAA’s Contract Tower Program. This level of funding will maintain operations of all current contract towers and the new facilities that FAA expects to add by the end of fiscal year 2016, the organizations said.
The associations stated that the 252 towers now in the program handle 28 percent of all air traffic control tower operations in the U.S. but account for only 14 percent of FAA’s budget allotted to tower operations. Further, they said, the safety and efficiency of FAA’s Contract Tower Program has been validated numerous times by DOT’s Inspector General, as well as by FAA safety audits.
In addition to AAAE/USCTA, organizations signing the letter were the Regional Airline Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, General Aviation Airport Coalition, National Business Aviation Association, ACI-NA, Air Traffic Control Association and the Cargo Airline Association.