ATCA urges full funding of FAA contract tower program

Earlier this month, the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) joined industry groups in urging Congress to fully fund the Federal Aviation Administration´s (FAA) Contract Tower Program as part of its FY 2018 appropriations bill, the association said.

ATCA´s President and CEO Peter F. Dumont, along with the heads of the US Contract Tower Association, the Regional Airline Association (RAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Air Council International — NA (ACI-NA), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and the Cargo Airline Association (CAA), sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11-NJ) requesting no less than USD 159m to maintain operations for the program, which has provided essential air traffic safety services for over three decades.

The Contract Tower Program is made up of 253 towers in 46 states that handle approximately 28% of all air traffic control tower (ATCT) aircraft operations in the US. The program´s current funding levels only account for about 14% of FAA´s overall budget allotted to ATCT tower operations.

The letter was also sent to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Ranking Member Rep. Nita Lowey (D-17-NY), as well as to the committee´s Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-FL) and Ranking Member Rep. David Price (D-4-NC).

ATCA serves nearly 4,000 members throughout the world–air traffic controllers, as well as associations, educational institutions, the government and military, and companies managing and providing aviation equipment and services. The organization is dedicated to the progress and safety of air traffic control and works to advance the technology and professionalism of the industry.