FAA TO CLOSE 149 FEDERAL CONTRACT TOWERS BEGINNING APRIL 7

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation
Administration and received via e-mail. The release was
confirmed by the sender.) 
March 22, 2013 
FAA Makes Tower Closing Decision 
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) reached the decision that 149
federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of
the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. The agency has
made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that
had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would
have a negative impact on the national interest.
An additional 16 federal contract towers under the “cost share”
program will remain open because Congressional statute sets
aside funds every fiscal year for these towers. These cost-share
program funds are subject to sequestration but the required 5
percent cut will not result in tower closures. 
 “We heard from communities across the country about the
importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,”
said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Unfortunately we are
faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to
reach the required cuts under sequestration.” 
“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the
procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at
non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. 
In early March, FAA proposed to close 189 contract air traffic
control towers as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in
cuts required under budget sequestration and announced that it
would consider keeping open any of these towers if doing so
would be in the national interest. 
The national interest considerations included: (1) significant
threats to national security as determined by the FAA in
consultation with the Department of Defense or the Department of
Homeland Security; (2) significant, adverse economic impact that
is beyond the impact on a local community; (3) significant
impact on multi-state transportation, communication or
banking/financial networks; and (4) the extent to which an
airport currently served by a contract tower is a critical
diversionary airport to a large hub. 
In addition to reviewing materials submitted on behalf of towers
on the potential closure list, DOT consulted with the
Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and conducted
operational assessments of each potential tower closure on the
national air transportation system. 
Some communities will elect to participate in FAA’s non-federal
tower program and assume the cost of continued, on-site air
traffic control services at their airport (see Advisory Circular
AC 90-93A.) The FAA is committed to facilitating this
transition. 
The FAA will begin a four-week phased closure of the 149 federal
contract towers beginning on April 7. 
### 
Contact:  Laura Brown
Phone:    202-267-3883
Email:    laura.j.brown@faa.gov 
(sgp) NY 
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