Contract towers just as safe, but cost less

Air traffic control towers staffed by private contractors are cheaper and provide the same level of safety as towers staffed by government controllers, a new audit by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General concludes. According to a report at, contract towers cost on average $537,000 a year to operate, compared with $2 million for comparably busy towers staffed by the FAA. In addition, the contract towers had a “significantly lower number and rate of safety incidents,” the report said,

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