Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it is delaying until June 15 the closures of the 149 federal contract air traffic control towers. Last month, the FAA announced the closures under the Contract Tower Program (CTP) blaming sequestration cuts. In so doing, the Administration ignored the cost savings and increased safety benefits of the program and pushed to cut CTP by 75 percent even though the FAA budget is absorbing only a five percent cut.
"I hope the move by the FAA to delay the airport tower closures is a sign the Administration is listening to the serious concerns that I raised in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood last week. The FAA says it has safety as its top priority and pledges to "get this right.' But, Contract Towers are safer and save taxpayer money. Only by reconsidering this misguided decision will the FAA get it right. Let's hope with more time the FAA will give the matter more thoughtful consideration and focus on cutting bureaucratic waste rather than cutting programs that save taxpayer money."