Senate committee questions tower closings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group of 30 senators have sponsored a bill to prevent the FAA from closing any air traffic control tower in fiscal years 2013 or 2014, while the chairman of the Senate committee concerned with aviation warns all the progress made by the FAA is at risk because of sequestration.

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Getting GA’s message to lawmakers


WASHINGTON, D.C. — When lobbyists want Congressional help on issues, they usually seek out members with interests in that issue in a caucus. The informal, bipartisan groups are found in both the House and Senate. But until recently, there were no general aviation caucuses. Now there are active groups in both Houses.

At present, the general aviation caucus in the House has 170 members — making it one of the largest caucuses — while the Senate caucus has 35 members. In the four years since the Congressional general aviation caucuses were formed, they have become an effective way to gain recognition and acceptance for general aviation.

An example of how this works was the recent visit to Capitol Hill by actor and pilot Harrison Ford (pictured above) visited the House caucus.

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Why get upset about towers closing?

Starting April 7, the FAA will close 149 contract air traffic control towers to help reduce expenditures as required by sequestration. General aviation uses thousands of airports that do not have towers, so why are GA advocates getting upset over the closing of these towers?

That’s a question many pilots are asking. [Read more...]

NTSB preparing videos on GA safety alerts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is preparing short videos about five safety alerts for general aviation covering the most frequent types of GA accidents. The videos will be available this spring and feature regional air safety investigators sharing their experiences and observations of the various accidents they investigate.

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Tower closures and furloughs: Are they necessary?

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The FAA intends to send furlough notices to its employees, meaning in early April fewer controllers will be on the job unless Congress acts before that to make some changes to sequestration. The National Air Traffic Controller Association says it has been notified of this, adding that closing towers is “even worse.”

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