FAA funded airport towers using 30-year-old data to justify costs
So things have changed in the past 30 years? Guess they’re still using 8-tracks in the towers too.
Check it out:
The government has been using 30-year-old data on aircraft collisions to justify the cost of operating control towers at small airports even though accident rates have improved significantly over that time.
Had the Federal Aviation Administration used more current data, it’s probable that some low-traffic airport towers operated by private contractors would no longer have met the agency’s criteria for funding, industry officials said. But the FAA has long been under pressure from members of Congress to open new towers at airports in their states, not close them.
The FAA began paying contractors to staff and operate towers at a handful of small airports after President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Today, there are 251 towers operated by private contractors at airports across the country at an average cost to the Federal Aviation Administration of about $500,000 a year each. Since the program began, only three contractor-operated towers have been shut down, according to a trade association for the companies that operate the towers.