Wed, Jul 18, 2012
Transportation Subcommittee To Look At Program, DOT IG Audit
The U.S. House Transportation Committee subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) (pictured),will hold a hearing on Wednesday to review the FAA's Contract Tower Program, and the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s (DOT IG) ongoing audit of the program.
Under the Contract Tower Program, which was begun as a pilot program in 1982 to re-open five Level 1 control towers that had been closed by the air traffic controllers strike, the FAA contracts with private entities to provide air traffic control services at Visual Flight Rules (VFR) airports. The program has a history of reducing the cost of air traffic control services and enhancing aviation safety by providing air traffic services at airports where federally-staffed towers would not be cost effective.
Contract towers, as well as FAA-staffed VFR towers, operate in large and small communities in both urban and rural areas. There are some commercial service airports which also use contract towers. The FAA maintains oversight of the contract towers and the controllers who work in them. All contract controllers are certified by the FAA, and contract tower facilities are monitored on a regular basis by the agency. A hearing briefing document asserts that over 99 percent of the employees at contract towers are former FAA or U.S. military controllers with an average of 20 years experience.
The DOT IG is updating a 2003 report that showed contract towers to be at least as safe as FAA towers, and significantly more cost effective. The DOT IG and others will provide testimony in regard to the new audit and the program.
There will be two panels of witnesses at the Wednesday hearing.
- The Honorable Calvin L. Scovel, Inspector General, United States Department of Transportation
- The Honorable David Grizzle, Chief Operating Officer, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration
- The Honorable Julie Oettinger, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs and Environment, Federal Aviation Administration
- Mr. Walter B. Strong, A.A.E., Chairman, United States Contract Tower Association Policy Board
- Ms. Trish Gilbert, Executive Vice President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association
- Melissa Rudinger, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
The hearing is set to begin at 1000 EDT Wednesday in the Rayburn Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Events To Highlight Industry Collaboration For Reaching The Planet Mars Leaders from the aerospace community held a press conference at EAA AirVenture on Monday to get the word out>[...]
OSH2014 Sponsor: Aspen Avionics Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability into general aviation cockpits. Our products increase situational>[...]
Meet Jim Campbell, TODAY/07.28, At EAA Wearhouse, Author's Corner, At 1500 And Get Your Signed Copy of Beyond The Blue!!! To Aviation Journalist and experienced Test Pilot, Jim Cam>[...]
ConciAir Is Here To Return Our Industry To Service! The name ConciAir is a play on the word "concierge", and our goal is to be able to accomplish any task placed before us in a tim>[...]
The Eclipse 550: Economical. Efficient. Incredible. The Eclipse 550 not only has the lowest acquisition cost of any twin-engine jet on the planet, it also has the lowest operating >[...]