FAA Looks At Cutback Targets...

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48 Towers On List

The political games should begin soon on how the FAA will redeploy resources to meet a looming controller crisis. AVweb has obtained a list of 48 airports that could see reduced service or even off-peak tower closures as the agency tries to put staff where it says it needs it and save money on airports that now have 24-hour controller services but see little or no traffic during certain time periods. "Having too many controllers on duty during off-peak times makes little sense," says the FAA's executive summary of its new ATC staffing plan. "We're also reducing our hours of operation at our facilities where there is low or no activity, especially during the midnight-to-5 a.m. shift." In the past, when there's been talk of service cuts, politics sometimes appeared to be at least part of the equation in the final decision on where the axe would fall. It follows that those most vocal in the defense of their 24-hour tower service stand a better chance of keeping it. And call us cynics if you like, but the side of the house the representatives and senators who represent those potentially affected airports sit on might have a teensy bit to do with which ones make the final cut ... if past experience is any indicator.