Tyler Pounds on list of airport control towers to close

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Friday, March 22, 2013 - 10:51pm

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday the list of airport control towers closing due to sequestration, which includes Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.

The decision by the Federal Aviation Administration, finalized today, to close 149 contract towers across the country beginning on April 7 raises serious safety, efficiency, and economic concerns that the agency has failed to consider, according to the U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA), an affiliate organization of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

“Over the past few decades, the FAA has closed only a handful of air traffic control towers, yet the agency is now committed to closing 149 contract towers beginning on April 7,” USCTA Executive Director J. Spencer Dickerson noted. “Contract towers have long been an integral part of the FAA’s system of managing the nation’s complex airspace, and the decision to shutter these critical air traffic control facilities on such an unprecedented and wide-scale basis raises serious concerns about safety – both at the local level and throughout the aviation system.”

Dickerson added that “Given the breadth and scope of the closures, the FAA cannot possibly fully understand the safety impacts, the operational impacts or the immediate and long-term economic hardships this decision will have on affected airports and communities. While we understand and appreciate the challenges associated with implementing budget cuts resulting from sequestration, the decision by the Administration to disproportionately target the contract tower program represents a regrettable deviation from the role the FAA has always played as a guardian of aviation system safety.”

Earlier Firday, the FAA announced that in an attempt to deal with sequestration the agency will close 149 contract towers over a four week period beginning on April 7. The FAA determined that 24 towers previously listed for closure will remain open because of national security concerns. Additionally, the agency determined that 16 contract towers in the cost-share program will remain open until September 30.

With 251 towers in the contract tower program, the closure of 149 towers represents a nearly 60 percent reduction for the program – a figure that is far in excess of the 5 percent cuts being implemented for other areas of the agency’s budget.

Controllers at contract towers perform a host of important functions, including separating aircraft; issuing safety and weather alerts; and assisting with military, emergency response, and medical flights. The controllers at these facilities are highly trained professionals, and their presence at control towers has been a high priority for the FAA and for local communities for decades.

The Department of Transportation Inspector General has repeatedly validated the value of contract towers and the Contract Tower Program in enhancing safety, improving aviation system efficiency, and delivering cost-effective services.

Included on the list is the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. The City of Tyler will hold a 3 p.m press conference at City Hall.

The entire list can be seen in the attachment below.

AttachmentSize
AirportTowerClosures.pdf46.61 KB

Comments News Comments

I read today in WSJ that the CIA is expanding it's role in Syria's civil war. So who comes first in America these days? There is plenty of money (taxpayers) to go around for foreign wars, but not enough to keep air travel safe in this nation or illegals out of it.

Cutting funding from high profile government services is not about saving money. It is about punishing the taxpayer for resisting runaway congressional spending. The first cuts should be the bloated congressional payroll and the golden parachutes they voted themselves: After one term the'r paid from the public trough for the rest of their lives. The pork barrel projects that were included in the last round of bills pays their coneys more than cutting funds from public services.
Calvin

Republicans wanted sequestration, you got it. There are consequences.

That's right tinks, the phoney repubs upheld Oblame-a's law. And such a good law was sequestration that, if we were to sequester our outlaw government all the way back to Lincoln's log cabin, I'd support that too !

what about the people? that fly with towers closing that can do more harm than good. Because there can be more wrecks in landing and taking off. in these airports with out the employees in the towers shutting down to keep the people safe. with out them there can be more deaths. I pray jesus will open your eyes and make you see what your doing.

But look on the bright side. Obama still gets his vacation and Biden his to! Can't have them working to hard, right?

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