Airports sue over tower closures

The Associated Press is reporting that several airports have asked a federal court to stop the FAA’s plan to close 149 contract air traffic control towers, accusing the agency of violating federal law meant to ensure major changes at airports do not erode safety. Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Ill., has joined other airports, including those in Spokane Airports in Washington state, and the operators of Florida airports in Naples, Ormond Beach and Punta Gorda. The court combined the suits into a single case Thursday.

 

Study says FAA could save $1 billion

As the FAA prepares to close 149 air traffic control towers as part of more than $600 million in spending cuts required by the sequester, a new Reason Foundation study shows how the FAA could save $1 billion a year by consolidating air traffic control centers and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities.

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Lawsuit on GA emissions dismissed

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia court has dismissed a lawsuit by environmentalist  group Friends of the Earth pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decide whether lead emissions from general aviation aircraft  endanger public health and welfare. The court said the issue is not one that it can take up under a provision of the Clean Air Act allowing “citizen suits.”

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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...]

FAA releases guide for pilots affected by tower closures

The FAA has released a guide for pilots affected by the upcoming tower closures.

It begins: Airports operate safely throughout the United States with and without towers. [Read more...]

FAA plan to close towers a ‘flawed policy assault on pilots’

DUPAGE, Ill. — A federal plan to impose across-the-board spending cuts by closing 149 active control towers nationwide will compromise air safety and “should not stand,” according to Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

“The White House does not understand the consequences of these actions, or they do and they simply do not care,” Fuller said. “Either way, this approach is dangerous and should not stand.”

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FAA to close 149 towers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA will close 149 federal contract towers beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. FAA officials 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.

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Lawmakers question choice to close towers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers are not happy with the FAA’s decision to close 149 contract air traffic control towers.

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FAA delays decision on tower closures

The FAA will delay its decision on which of the contract towers up for potential closure may be exempted due to “compelling national interest.” David Grizzle, the FAA’s COO, said that in order to “review comprehensively the very large number of responses” from airports seeking an exemption, the final decision date will be March 22. The FAA officials previously said they would make a final decision March 18.

Lackluster growth predicted for GA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation will grow over the next 20 years, but at a rate of only 1/2 of 1% a year, according to the FAA.

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