What’s really behind those FAA tower closures?

posted at 11:31 am on March 23, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Sequestration chatter isn’t going away any time soon, and one of the expected headlines is making the rounds again this week. Air traffic control towers at nearly 150 airports across the nation are going to sit empty, forcing pilots to figure out safe landing procedures by a combination of the seats of their pants and furiously cracking open fortune cookies. In other words, you’re all going to die.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday told 149 regional airports across the country it would begin closing their air traffic control towers in April, but said it would spare another 40 towers that had been on the chopping block.

The agency said the cuts are necessary to help meet $637 million in forced spending cuts.

The tower closures will begin April 7 and will be phased in over four weeks, FAA Chief Operating Officer David Grizzle said in a memo obtained by CNN.

They need to cut $637M out of their budget, but how big is that budget? And how big of a percentage would you need to slash before you just start shutting down towers? Doug Mataconis thinks there might be a little more to see here than just red and black numbers on a balance sheet. Could it be… politics?

The FAA claims that it cannot cut $600 million from its $58 billion without impacting air traffic control. Honestly, though, I can’t believe that this is true. It seems more likely to me that the Administration is phasing in cuts that are designed to have the most public impact in order to win a political battle. Take a fine tooth comb to that budget, guys, before you start risking public safety.

I’m not doubting that for a moment, but somehow I think there’s yet another layer to this onion. It’s not just the number of towers being shut down, but which specific ones. And more to the point… who works there. When you scan down the list of closures, these are all towers which are managed and staffed by private contractors. Not one of them is staffed up by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association union. That’s something of a remarkable coincidence, isn’t it? Maybe not.

No FAA air-traffic facilities will be shut down for at least a year, Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association union, said in an e-mailed statement.

The FAA’s union contract requires that controllers get at least a year’s notice before a facility is closed, Church said. The agency Feb. 22 issued a list of 49 FAA towers that were subject to closing in addition to the private towers.

The union workers will be forced to take off one day without pay every two weeks, which spreads the pain around a little but their jobs and their towers aren’t going away. And leave it to public sector unions to find a way to wring a silver (or green) lining out of any dark cloud. Assume there is some sort of public outcry this year after a couple of regional jets clip wings on the runways of some municipal airports. At that point, Washington gets the excuse they need to staff at least some of the towers back up. Will they go back to the private contractors, or will the unions move in with their “much more efficient” practices?

Time will tell. And we’ll be watching with great interest.


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normally only talk about stuff I know something about. I think it’s a good rule you might consider adopting yourself.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Dayum!!! You’re frickin’ hawt!!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Dayum!!! You’re frickin’ hawt!!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Actually I have bug eyes, hence the sunglasses :(

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM

normally only talk about stuff I know something about. I think it’s a good rule you might consider adopting yourself.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Dayum!!! You’re frickin’ hawt!!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:22 PM

To bad he’s a damned Chinese Commie, eh…

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Actually I have bug eyes, hence the sunglasses :(

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Crud. I have a thing for bald men with pretty blue eyes…too bad you ain’t one…

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

To bad he’s a damned Chinese Commie, eh…

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Why do you say that? I have seen nothing to indicate that.

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Why do you say that? I have seen nothing to indicate that.

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Then you need to read more of his comments. Dude is a hardcore Chinese Marxist Propaganda minister.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Then you need to read more of his comments. Dude is a hardcore Chinese Marxist Propaganda minister.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

I have.

What do you think about the American media?

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Hey Jazz,

I think you misplace your concerns.

You should be more concerned with a mid-air collision with a drone.

WryTrvllr on March 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Why do you say that? I have seen nothing to indicate that.

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

It’s a common perception actually. Sometimes I presume to think that just because I’ve lived in China for going on 8 years and have visited frequently for over 20 I know something about the reality here.

Like I presume to know more about airspace rules than SWalker just because I’m a pilot and he’s not.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I’m a retired air traffic controller. Closing some low level towers will have a minor affect. If they really want to hurt air travelers they would close all the TRACON’s and enroute air traffic control centers.

McCain Hater on March 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

According to the FAA FY 2013 Budget Estimates as broken down by “DOT strategic and organization goals”:

$ 7,361,737,000 is requested for Safety
$ 5,250,873,000 is requested for Economic Competitiveness.
$ 1,148,005,000 is requested for Organizational Excellence.
$ 760,140,000 is requested for State Of Good Repair.
$ 461,493,000 is requested for Environmental Sustainability.
$ 189,753,000 is requested for Corporate Services.
———————————————————–
$15,172,000,000 TOTAL

(PDF page 23 of 949 ; Exhibit II-3, Budget summary tables p.3)

Environmental sustainability makes up just over 3% of the total.

Any cuts are likely to delay the roll-out of NextGen. Any increases are likely to delay the roll-out of NextGen. Leaving funding unchanged is likely to delay the roll-out of NextGen.

(NB: Contract Towers were slated for $2,000,000 in cuts)

sesuncedu on March 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I have.

What do you think about the American media?

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Like I presume to know more about airspace rules than SWalker just because I’m a pilot and he’s not.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Yup. My point. SWalker will criticize the media bias as bashing the USA and conservatives, but he/she/it just LOVES the medias bias against China.

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

but he/she/it just LOVES the medias bias against China.

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 3:06 PM

What media bias against China? Apparently, like DarkCurrent you suffer under the delusion that I dislike China, I do not, I hate their Marxist Communist Government, the Chinese people and their culture, however I both like and respect.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

SWalker:

While I understand your concerns, consider this:

ADS-B requirements (out and in) to be put in place in 2020 will essentially make all Radar Control obsolete. Unless, of course, an EMP knocks out the satelites and towers.

and O’bozo has been turning stuff off anyway. The Loran outage is due to the sequester!!!

WryTrvllr on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I’ve been around since FDR’s first inauguration and this is the first president (in name only) who has intentionally tried to damage the American people. What is in store for us after Obama and then……..Hilary?

Herb on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

satellites

WryTrvllr on March 23, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Apparently, like DarkCurrent you suffer under the delusion that I dislike China, I do not, I hate their Marxist Communist Government, the Chinese people and their culture, however I both like and respect.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I don’t recall ever saying that I thought you disliked China.
Indeed I suppose you’ve enjoyed your visits here. How many is that now?

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I don’t recall ever saying that I thought you disliked China.
Indeed I suppose you’ve enjoyed your visits here. How many is that now?

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Piss off commie scum…

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Piss off commie scum…

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Don’t get your panties in a twist rock star

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Piss off commie scum…

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Don’t get your panties in a twist rock star

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Let me guess, you just figured out that it’s not raining and I am pissing on your head, guess you’re not quiet as dumb as I thought after all.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

hurt the people in every manner you can!…bet you that the couple of dozen that were exempted…a plane touches down from DC… on the weekends!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Lubbock is one of those and no, a plane from DC doesn’t land there……can’t remember whenever one did. However, Lubbock is losing it’s overnight shift along with the Abilene control tower, Austin tower, Corpus Christi tower, El Paso tower, Meacham tower (Fort Worth).

avagreen on March 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

The Loran outage is due to the sequester!!!

WryTrvllr on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Wouldn’t worry about LORAN, it’s pretty much all but obsolete these days, at least until the “new” version comes in. If that new E-LORAN is in fact able to compete with the relative accuracy of GPS, it might make a comeback.

Del Dolemonte on March 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I’m a retired air traffic controller. Closing some low level towers will have a minor affect. If they really want to hurt air travelers they would close all the TRACON’s and enroute air traffic control centers.

McCain Hater on March 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

This is the reason given for Lubbock not being closed….there are about 150+ of these in the nation according to news reports.

avagreen on March 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Let me guess, you just figured out that it’s not raining and I am pissing on your head, guess you’re not quiet as dumb as I thought after all.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

A renowned astrophysicist such as yourself should know that it’s quite impossible to piss all the way to China with the low-power equipment you’ve got.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM

I live in a town where they’re closing down a tower (HKY). I spend a lot of time at that airport and I actually agree with the closure. The busiest I’ve ever seen the place is 4, maybe 5 takeoffs and landings per hour. Most of the day, hours can pass with no activity. There are about only a dozen planes hangared at the place. After Reagan fired the ATCs in the 80s, the airport went without controllers for about 15 years. And yet now there are 4 full time ATCs.

I’m not saying that ever tower on the list needs to be closed. The tower in Concord, NC is also being closed, which seems really stupid. The place actually gets a lot of jet traffic since most NASCAR drivers keep there planes their. There is also a lot of traffic from business jets which use the smaller field rather than Charlotte. Traffic is up about 3000% over the last few years and is continuing to grow. This really makes me think the list of closures were arbitrary with little forethought.

ReaganWasRight on March 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I’m a retired air traffic controller. Closing some low level towers will have a minor affect. If they really want to hurt air travelers they would close all the TRACON’s and enroute air traffic control centers.

McCain Hater on March 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Thank you.

———-
One more benefit to this – for the gulchers, the more you practice now, the easier you’ll be able to get in/out of the gulches, when the caca hits the fan.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Ugh!

*keep there planes their = keep their planes there.

Need some caffeine.

ReaganWasRight on March 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

DC is not a commie himself, necessarily, but a propagandist for China, through and through.

He’s a very competent, often likeable, eclectic fellow; Seattle rained out his brain, as it did so many, unfortunately. It’s not the rain, it’s the socialist-commie mold it creates.

Shanghai is not all of China. China is not even a benevolent dictatorship, like Singapore. She, China, with Russia now, will be the Mafia-style ‘free’ economy terrorizing power of the world. Enjoy. Obama enables them.

I exposed this endeavour of his and I stand by it.

His claims on piloting on this thread are all correct.

ladyingray, you disappoint today, in many ways.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 3:48 PM

They are going full speed ahead with this propaganda crap – I guarantee you every agency head has their talking points ready to go. I was just in Pensacola, FL yesterday for business and the word was that they were going to cancel the yearly Blue Angels air show at the beach, due to….wait for it….sequester cuts.

It’s f’ing despicable that they can get away with this shite without getting called out for it.

specialkayel on March 23, 2013 at 3:49 PM

He’s a very competent, often likeable, eclectic fellow

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Thank you, I appreciate that, especially the ‘eclectic’ part. I take some pride in that, so won’t quibble about the other stuff.

Good night!

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM

It’s a common perception actually. Sometimes I presume to think that just because I’ve lived in China for going on 8 years and have visited frequently for over 20 I know something about the reality here.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

… and I have had direct experience with folks in the “House Churches” and similar events in China. You have the state-sponsored view of the country and have been able to maintain that view because I would guess you have done nothing to step outside of the expected norm in that country. If you worship the state, don’t exhibit any evidence of any kind of religious faith, or attempt any overt exhibition of liberty you will be fine and come away with a reasonably positive view of the country. The people I have interfaced with have a broader view of the overall Chinese culture because of the people with whom they have interfaced as well as the need to understand the complex Chinese laws regarding what they can and cannot do. The fact is, China has a whimsical legal system, allowing them to prosecute anyone in the country at the government’s whim because it is guaranteed that there is some law that each and every citizen is guilty of violating. Some of our acquaintances have also seen what is underneath that velvet glove when not all of the required forms and approvals were filled out and obtained. The latter not deliberately, but inadvertently, didn’t matter — the initial red carpet was quickly replaced with a busload of unsmiling Chinese soldiers who made sure the attendees at the event all returned to the airport and were on the next plane out.

AZfederalist on March 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM

The President, the media, and the Democrat party are WANTING something to happen to bury the Republican Party forever. I wish I was kidding about this.

Wagthatdog on March 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

All of them are airports with less than 10,000 flts a year. 27 per day average. Most probably general aviation. The airports want a controller…have them collect some frees from those who utilize that airport…problem solved.

HumpBot Salvation on March 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

No that is not true. I’m not going to look up airports, but KOUN – Norman, Oklahoma has over 49,000 operations per year, so your all are less 10,000 flights per year is wrong. I fly into some airports that I wonder why they have a tower, but a number of the towers that are on the chopping block are at airports that certainly have enough traffic to warrant a tower.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

…stand corrected…going by what my brother says who flies for American Airlines…but then HE THINKS he knows everything!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Here is the FAA budget:

http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/faa_%20fy_%202013_budget_estimate.pdf

Look on page 23. The office Civil Rights get 10 million per year. Change that to 4 million and don’t endanger public safety.

This is proof positive that this President wants to inflict maximum pain on the American people.

All of you that thought Romney was too rich, too moderate, too white, (whatever) or just stayed home because he didn’t give you anything to vote for, congraaaatulations! You got yoself a fine, fine pres-o-dent. Dumba$$eS.

JustTruth101 on March 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The tower in Concord, NC is also being closed, which seems really stupid. The place actually gets a lot of jet traffic since most NASCAR drivers keep there planes their. There is also a lot of traffic from business jets which use the smaller field rather than Charlotte. Traffic is up about 3000% over the last few years and is continuing to grow. This really makes me think the list of closures were arbitrary with little forethought.

ReaganWasRight on March 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Well, you have to remember that to Democrats led by O’bama, NASCAR is Evil even more so now since naming one of their events after the NRA. Got to shut them down any way they can!

Del Dolemonte on March 23, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Many pilots agree any number of those towers should have been shut down long ago because they’re unnecessary wastes of money. The trouble is, the government is basing its decisions on daily traffic statistics when there are other equally if not more important considerations. For instance, the complexity of the surrounding air space should be a major consideration, but apparently it’s not.

SukieTawdry on March 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Sorry, that probably wasn’t called for. I am the first to admit that I have issues when it come to aircraft flying without Air Traffic Control oversight. I was unloading the kiln at my high school on September 25, 1978, stopped what I was doing to look up at a passing commercial jet, and watched as this happened. PSA Flight 182
SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

That midair was pilot error. I worked at San Diego TRACON then. Fortunately it was my day off.
The controller issued the traffic to the PSA pilot who said have him in sight. From the cockpit recording of the PSA jet later came this. Pilot: Where is he? Copilot don’t know but we must be clear by now. So PSA descends and turns and hit the GA aircraft. This accident led to San Diego getting a TRSA.

McCain Hater on March 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Jazz,
I want to write to you about the FAA story you posted. I work for the FAA and on top of that I work in the budget office. There are a lot of problems with the story you posted. First, the FAA budget is 15 billion, not 58 billion. That number is probably DOT budget. So I have to give CNN props for screwing up that fact royally. Anyway, another problem with sequester is that the law was written so that no mandatory spending could be touch. Roughly 20% of the FAA budget is mandatory spending called Airports In Grants. With the remaining money, roughly 70% of the remaining money goes toward salaries. Since we are half way through the fiscal year, the FAA needs to cut 12 months of spending in 6 months, this is main reason why we need to close most of the contract towers and give out furloughs.
Another thing I want to mention is this. The FAA gets roughly 80% of its budget from excise taxes, aka taxes on flights to taxes on aviation fuel. These taxes fuel most of the FAA and only 20% of budget comes from the general treasury. So even though we do not get most of money from treasury we need to cut our budget like we do. In theory FAA could privatize, and the Bush Administration did float the idea, but it was killed by members of Congress.
One last thing, I do not like how LaHood is screaming that the sky will fall if these towers will close. Most of the towers are mainly General Aviation airports which means, it is used by airplane enthusiasts. Safety will not change if the towers are closed.

Lance Murdock on March 23, 2013 at 6:38 PM

You have never flown into any Air Port in the United States that wasn’t under the control, or jurisdiction of a Central Hub Control Tower. Anyone attempting to get an aircraft off the ground in the United States who fails to make appropriate contact with the Flight Control Tower designated to cover their location will be treated by the FAA as a smuggler and reported to federal authorities, and subject to arrest upon landing.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

You’re wrong. As for PSA 182, that was a failure of the flight crew, combined with a failure of the Cessna to announce its maneuvers (which is good form, even when it isn’t required).

GWB on March 23, 2013 at 6:43 PM

The real problem is that zero does not want to give up dozens of “blame the Republicans issues” in almost every dept. of govt. all of which is necessary only for political gain.Zero simply refuses to negotiate with Congress.It’s not the first time. Ever seen him negotiate on a budget,what budget?
The regime wants across the board cuts that effect every voters lives rather than targeted spending cuts since it fits his agenda of Republican destruction all the time.
The Sequester,closing airports,etc. is just another political issue that the left has thought out well in advance of when it happens. They will and are using it to clobber us over the head one more time since our party can’t even spell the word politics much less understand what is being done to them/us.
Below Rep. Cantor’s take on the sequester. From the Hill.com

The sequester requires agencies to make across-the-board cuts and does not allow them the flexibility to make targeted cuts. Congress and the White House would have to agree on a bill to replace the sequester if they want to make the cuts more targeted.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/284213-cantor-obama-offering-false-choices-on-sequester#ixzz2OPDkmdAd

rodguy911 on March 23, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I’ve been around since FDR’s first inauguration and this is the first president (in name only) who has intentionally tried to damage the American people. What is in store for us after Obama and then……..Hilary?

Herb on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? …and PIAPS is worse than Obinga. The first president I have any memory of is Johnson.

Yech…

98ZJUSMC on March 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Mostly to stick it to the hwhite suburbs where most of the private, non-commercial, recreational flying pilots live… and, of course, where the non-union employees and small business service providers (instead of big government (read: big political contributors) run things).

viking01 on March 23, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Herb on March 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? …and PIAPS is worse than Obinga. The first president I have any memory of is Johnson.

Yech…

98ZJUSMC on March 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM

While I disliked FDR–just from what I read, and LBJ, they were not trying to harm us or “get even.” What Obama and his cronies are doing is just as ruthless as any communist regime, except for the killings.
Even the Red Chinese and Soviets in the 70′s-90′s used “persuasion” more than violence. So things are not looking too good here.

And Herb, that is awesome that you remember so far back and are here to post. Thanks

arnold ziffel on March 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM

jUSTTRUTH101…

Here is the FAA budget:

http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/docs/faa_%20fy_%202013_budget_estimate.pdf

Look on page 23. The office Civil Rights get 10 million per year. Change that to 4 million and don’t endanger public safety.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING ON PAGE 23, ANY PAGE 23. COULD YOU GIVE THE CORRECT REFERENCE PLEASE?

dewillto on March 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

I seriously doubt that there is any danger of any regional jets clipping wingtips at any of these fields.
I doubt whether there is ever more than one commercial plane at any of these fields at any one time.
Pilots have been coping with “towerless” airfields since the beginning of aviation, and seem to have not killed the flying public yet.
I would venture to say that ALL of the plane-to-plane incidents – at least since the advent of jet-travel – on-the-ground have been at fields with towers, and directed ground-traffic.
This is just another “Washington Monument” incident – close the visible stuff to piss-off the public.
The only problem is, the public is waking up, and looking around and saying: What’s the big deal – why exactly do we have all these facilities and all these people we don’t need?
#EpicFail Barack!

Another Drew on March 23, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Even the Red Chinese and Soviets in the 70′s-90′s used “persuasion” more than violence

Yeah, they shot your neighbor to persuade you.

Another Drew on March 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Jazz,
In case you missed part of your link, it comes up as error. Here’s a Bloomberg which picks up the same text if you want to use it.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-22/faa-to-close-149-u-s-airport-towers-after-budget-cuts.html

auspatriotman on March 23, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Dewillto, I cant’t believe you are yelling at me when the info is right there on page 23. If I was wrong, fine, go spastic, but I’m not. The pdf is 949 pages. The reference I made is on the 23rd physical page of the pdf. The number printed at the bttom of the page is 3, but that is meaningless becuuase each section repaginates starting at 1. To go to page 23, look at the top of the pdf reader and you will see what page you are on, out of a total of 949 pages. Click in the box, type 23, and the reader will take you to page. 23. And next time check your facts before you type in all caps. I am typing this. On and android…

JustTruth101 on March 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM

This may be a stupid question, rooted in igorance, but… if closingthese Air Traffic Control towers can be done with no reduction in safety, as we are being told, why did they exist in the first place? I somehow assumed the entire purpose of Air Traffic Control was related to safety.

MikeA on March 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM

This may be a stupid question, rooted in igorance, but… if closingthese Air Traffic Control towers can be done with no reduction in safety, as we are being told, why did they exist in the first place? I somehow assumed the entire purpose of Air Traffic Control was related to safety.

MikeA on March 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Technology improves. Those ATC Towers WERE needed 25 years ago, before the GPS system was put in place.

On every GPS approach plate there is a warning that, due to the very precise nature of GPS, there may be another plane right next to you.

WryTrvllr on March 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM

This one is about to kick in — 10.7% cut in weekly unemployment benefits. Here’s the official announcement on the NY DoL website:

Updated March 18, 2013 .

Beginning with the week ending April 7th, federal government budget cuts known as sequestration could affect your unemployment insurance benefits. If you are receiving regular UI benefits you will NOT see any change. However, if you are receiving federal extended unemployment benefits that start after 26 weeks (Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or EUC), the federal government has directed us to reduce your payments by 10.7% beginning that first week in April. New York State has no control over these cuts in benefits and no ability to waive or reduce the level of cuts. If you are going to be affected, you will receive a letter during the month of March telling you your exact benefit amount. Please check this website for the most up to date information concerning the sequestration cuts. And please be aware that our telephone call center agents do not have any more up to date information, so it is best to use our webpage, Facebook page or contact the United States Department of Labor at 1-866-487-2365, the White House at 202-456-1414 or your member of Congress at 202-224-3121.

SheVee on March 24, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Assume there is some sort of public outcry this year after a couple of regional jets clip wings on the runways of some municipal airports.

The public won’t notice a thing. Regional airlines fly into airports with part time towers or uncontrolled fields all the time. Many of the smaller towers around the country have hours from 7 am to 10 pm. We are usually taking off earlier than that and landing later than that. See and avoid worked before the advent of ATC, it’s working now. Mid air collisions do occur, usually between general aviation aircraft on bright, sun shiny days.

TulsAmerican on March 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Former controller here

The FAA has long wanted to get out of the business of controlling traffic at non-commercial general aviation airports. This is giving them political cover to do so.

The list of reasons is long and boring, but they boil down to self interest on behalf of the FAA bureaucracy. By eliminating the resources used for those, they have those resources available for their own bureaucratic empire building

SearchlightCrusade on March 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Anyone who doesn’t realize that sequestration whether its unemployment money or money for airport towers or white hut tours,was just another excuse for zero not to have to negotiate with us is ignoring reality.
We have sequestration because zero won’t negotiate with Congress ever.He doesn’t have to.His political masters/and the DBM keep him out of trouble 24/7.
The hard political left,everyone from Messina to Plouffe to the bent axel have had a year to devise their “targeted cuts” designed to do maximum damage on voters. The whole thing is designed to attack and destroy Republicans nothing new here. Every dept. of govt. will pick the most important thing they do, cut funding for it and then blame us. Nothing new here.

rodguy911 on March 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Augusta GA gets a temporary tower set up by the FAA in April every year.

Want to bet that it will get one this year also, despite these disastrous sequester cuts?

Did I mention that the Masters golf tournament is in Augusta, GA? Did I mention fat cats? Did I mention BIG political donors?

new2wnc on March 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

new2wnc on March 24, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Can’t inconvenience the NYT/MSM-TV wheels from flying in to complain about Augusta National not being swamped with female members.

I would venture to say that the golfers who pilot their own planes, and the pilots of the charter-planes the others use, are used to flying into and out of uncontrolled airspace.

As to electronic interference, on the few times that I have flown on exec-jets, no one from the flight-deck, or the stew (when we were on a big-enough plane to rate one), complained about cranking up the old lap-top to pass the time on a coast-to-coast flight.

Another Drew on March 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

What’s really behind those FAA tower closures?

It’s a Martian plot to allow their space ships to land on earth unnoticed before the invasion.

The Rogue Tomato on March 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM

UH, it’s just under 1% of their total budget – like that would hurt?

600,000,000/58,000,000,000 = <1%.

But then, it's an excuse to get rid of those pesky outside contractors who probably work more hours/week than the government people.

MN J on March 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Somebody call Chevy Chase

john1schn on March 24, 2013 at 11:25 PM

For those that wanted to know:

Non-FAA tower being closed

Non-FAA towers being kept open

Note…not a single FAA controller will be losing his/her job although they will get one, unpaid furlough day every two weeks. They won’t be working this unpaid day either so they technically are taking no pay cut at all for the actual work the are doing.

The non-FAA controllers are losing their jobs and these are jobs that pay far less than FAA controllers to begin with.

I think this is what Obama means by “shared sacrifice”

JetBlast on March 25, 2013 at 1:07 PM

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