Coalition of aviation groups calls on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to reassert the vital role contract air traffic control towers play in improving safety and saving taxpayer dollars

Alexandria, VA, 2015-3-19 — /Travel PR News/ — A coalition of aviation groups, including the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)/U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA), have written leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to reassert the vital role that contract air traffic control towers play in improving safety and saving taxpayer dollars, and made a simple request that language be included in a Federal Aviation Administration appropriations bill to ensure their continued operation.

“The FAA Contract Tower Program has provided cost-effective and essential air traffic safety services since 1982,” wrote USCTA Executive Director J. Spencer Dickerson and the leaders of eight other aviation groups. “Together these 252 towers handle approximately 28 percent of all air traffic control tower (ATCT) aircraft operations in the U.S. but only account for about 14 percent of FAA’s overall budget allotted to ATCT tower operations,” the letter continued. “More importantly, the safety and efficiency record of the FAA Contract Tower Program has been validated numerous times by the DOT Inspector General, as well as by FAA safety audits.”

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are currently working on an FAA appropriations bill that will set the agency’s funding for FY 2016, and the letter requests language ensuring that the contract towers are fully funded, which has strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. The language proposed in the letter simply ensures contract towers are fully funded from existing accounts and does not require an additional appropriation of limited taxpayer dollars.

The letter was sent this week to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the respective Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Subcommittees.

In addition to Dickerson, the letter was signed by leaders of the Regional Airline Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, Airports Council International – North America, the General Aviation Airport Council, the Air Traffic Control Association and the Cargo Airline Association.

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ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE’s 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences,and a highly respected accreditation program.

ABOUT USCTA: An affiliate of AAAE, the U.S. Contract Tower Association was created in 1996 to promote the benefits of FAA’s Contract Tower Program and to enhance aviation safety at smaller airports across the country.


Adam Snider
Director of Public Affairs
(703) 824-0500, Ext. 195