Kansas Delegation Opposes FAA Cuts to Contract Tower Program03/12/13
Kansas Delegation Opposes FAA Cuts to Contract Tower Program
The full Kansas Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta opposing the FAA’s planned funding cuts to air traffic control towers – including seven towers in Kansas. The FAA Contract Tower Program serves airports that otherwise would not have air traffic control services, and irresponsible cuts will put the flying public at risk, impair access to rural areas, jeopardize national and civil security missions, and cost jobs.
A report published last summer by the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation found that the Contract Tower Program was one of the mostefficiently run programs in the FAA. The Inspector General found that contract towers costs roughly $1.5 million less to operate annually than a comparable FAA tower, and contract towers also have a lower number and rate of reported safety incidents than comparable FAA towers. Given the success of the contract tower program and its importance to Kansas and national aerospace safely, the FAA should focus it cuts elsewhere, like on its upcoming conference expenses and other nonessential spending.
The report also showed the specified towers in the FAA Contract Tower Program were all in operation in 2009, when the FAA received less funding than they will under the sequestration.
“The sequester is all about priorities, and I was extremely disappointed to hear the FAA is considering imposing disproportionate cuts to the Contract Tower Program. Ensuring the safety of the American people is aCongressional priority of extreme importance. If the FAA chooses to cut funding to the this program, the safety of the public will be in jeopardy. This program has proven to be an effective and efficient program within the federal government. We should be protecting these cost-effective programs and trying to emulate them in other areas where applicable,” stated Congressman Kevin Yoder.