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March 22, 2017

ATCA urges US Congress to fund FAA’s contract tower programme

The US Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) has urged Congress to fully fund the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) contract tower programme.

By Lopamudra Roy

The US Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) has urged Congress to fully fund the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) contract tower programme.

ATCA has joined other industry groups to support the FAA programme, which is part of its fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill.

The organisations have requested Congress grant no less than $159,000,000 to maintain operations for the contract tower programme, which has delivered effective air traffic safety services for more than three decades.

ATCA president and chief executive officer Peter F. Dumont said: “Contract towers are critical to the health of the national airspace system (NAS).

"We urge Congress to preserve these necessary facilities and the invaluable services they provide our communities."

“Disruptions to or cuts in service, no matter how small, can negatively affect the entire NAS and the US economy as a whole. Moreover, rural and urban communities alike benefit greatly from these facilities, as does general aviation.

“We urge Congress to preserve these necessary facilities and the invaluable services they provide our communities.”

FAA’s contract tower programme comprises 253 towers across 46 US states that manage approximately 28% of all air traffic control tower (ATCT) aircraft operations in the country.

The current funding levels of the FAA programme account for approximately 14% of the US agency’s overall budget allotted to ATCT tower operations.

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

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