September 30, 2013 Update from USCTA Executive Director Spencer Dickerson:
As you all well know, Washington is spiraling to a likely government shutdown tonight at midnight.
Regarding, the continued operation of FAA contract towers, the FAA has determined that air traffic control services are “exempt” from the government shutdown. The memo doesn’t explicitly state that contract controllers are part of that exemption, but absent a declarative statement that contract controllers are not except, everyone assumes that all 251 FAA contract towers will stay open if the government shuts down at midnight tonight. As such, we believe we are okay for the short term, but continue to be in big jeopardy long term with sequestration.
Regarding FY14 Apporpriations
If you are communicating with your congressional delegation, we encourage you to continue pushing the message below your House member and two Senators.
FAA Administrator Huerta told an industry stakeholder meeting on August 15 that the agency could move to phase out contract tower funding giving the uncertainty of the fiscal year 2014 appropriations process. With full and dedicated funding for contract towers in both the House and Senate fiscal year 2014 DOT/FAA appropriations bills, the intent of Congress is clear to keep this program intact. As such, we request your assistance in contacting DOT Secretary Foxx and FAA Administrator Huerta and urge them to keep FAA contract towers open. Any uncertainty of funding for these towers will create significant safety and operational concerns in our community and with the flying public. This program is critical to our community. Unfortunately, FAA appears to be contemplating once again targeting this highly successful and cost-effective air traffic safety program for disproportionate cuts. We cannot allow that to happen. Thank you very much for your continuing support and assistance.
Thanks for your time and continuing efforts. Please continue to make noise! Contact Spencer Dickerson or Joel Bacon if you have any questions or need further information.
Contact your delegation!