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.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

So that’s why there was the flaming hulk of a jumbo jet in my driveway this morning!

/notreally

CurtZHP on March 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

what the House needs to do is call in the head of the FAA and make him go line by line in the budget to justify these cuts. It’s time our congress does the required oversight over the excuetive branch to ensure public safety

unseen on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Saul Alinsky would be proud.

Like someone said, how stunning it is to see our government actively trying to hurt its own people!

PattyJ on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Every day the government reinforces the warning to society found in Orwells’ ‘Animal Farm’.

How soon will it be when Boxer vocal opponents get sent to the glue factory GITMO?

BobMbx on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Let It Burn

John the Libertarian on March 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

what the House needs to do is call in the head of the FAA and make him go line by line in the budget to justify these cuts. It’s time our congress does the required oversight over the excuetive branch to ensure public safety

unseen on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

“What difference, at this point, would it make?”

BobMbx on March 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

“We have met the enemy and the enemy is our government.”

albill on March 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgRRfWx71fo Says it all.

ThePrez on March 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Here is a link to the FAA Budget (caution it’s 949 pages. It takes a lot of space to tell folks how you are going to spend all that money.

I defy you to spend fifteen minutes reviewing the summary. I bet you can find no less than 2 items where this amount could be otherwise found…or spread equally across the entire organization.

Marcus Traianus on March 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

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

For greater visibility…
I am sure there is an empty tower near you :)

Electrongod on March 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

637,000 / 58,000,000 = 1%

scruplesrx on March 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

This is simply propaganda in the lamest of forms. Obama failed in his ploy to push sequester hysteria, so now his crew is left with simpering over ‘cuts’ in an area where few people have personal concern. I doubt this non-story is front page news, because it’s not that big of a deal even if it were to have an effect. If the airline industry and country easily survived Reagan’s firing of all those air traffic controllers, this is no more than a drop of water in an ocean.

Liberals have this notion that if they can nag long enough about something, they’ll finally pull up a big win. But they look like bigger fools when they have to start scraping and scrounging for ‘evidence’ to make themselves appear right.

Liam on March 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM

And you can be sure that the Congress will be right on their job of oversight! /sarc

CoffeeLover on March 23, 2013 at 11:50 AM

…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

The Administration and the media WANT Americans to die, so that they both can blame Republicans, and so that the media can have something to yap incessantly about.

I’m being very serious.

It is unfathomable to me that non-essential cuts couldn’t be found, elsewhere, so that pilot and passenger lives wouldn’t be placed at risk, by the closure of air traffic towers.

This is an intentional act, with hoped-for intentional consequences.

Hell is too good a place for the lot of them.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

what the House needs to do is call in the head of the FAA and make him go line by line in the budget to justify these cuts. It’s time our congress does the required oversight over the excuetive branch to ensure public safety

unseen on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

HaHa… Oh wait, you were serious?

Fenris on March 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Here is a link to the FAA Budget (caution it’s 949 pages. It takes a lot of space to tell folks how you are going to spend all that money.

I defy you to spend fifteen minutes reviewing the summary. I bet you can find no less than 2 items where this amount could be otherwise found…or spread equally across the entire organization.

Marcus Traianus on March 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Bingo!

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Maybe I’m not fully aware of how these things are operated. But it seems to me that this is a prime opportunity for private citizens to tell the government to ***k off. Just show up for work, open the tower, and do your job.

IronDioPriest on March 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

$200 million for Syrians refugees in Jordan is much more important than the safety of lousy Americans.

profitsbeard on March 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

This is the “Firemen first” principle. The FAA could have found many other places with less impact to make cuts. This is designed to rile up the public by cutting services that almost anyone can see the value of. I don’t doubt for one minute that somewhere, in some government office, that a “public servant” bureaucrat is actually hoping an accident happens that can be blamed on a closed control tower so that it can be politically exploited. The value add here is federal employees getting rid of contracted private sector employees. Later on when some of these towers are reopened does anyone really think they will be staffed with contractors? Highly likely we will be staffing them with more federal employees.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Most American airports don’t even have control towers.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Maybe there will be a mass shooting by an illegal alien with an assault weapon at an unmanaged airport, and the democratics will have a three-fer issue. Be afraid Republicans!

slickwillie2001 on March 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

They have been studying closures for years and if you do that then a good crisis will appear where it can be used. The vast majority of these towers are at very low usage general aviation fields. The closures won’t affect anyone going to a major city airport. Sit down and buckle up cause there’s bigger fish being fried on our behalf in DC as we speak.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Don’t think the jackholes didn’t toy with the idea of shutting down big towers, JFK for instance, you know they did.

This is the same FAA who proclaimed that my activated Kindle is a danger to a jumbo jet during takeoff; they’re as moronic as the fools in the administration and are willing to bend over. They want their money too, just like everyone else; there is no downsizing to be found.

Bishop on March 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

One of our local airports (Whiteman) is closing it’s tower. It’s a general aviation airport in LA Ca. No biggy, uncontrolled airspace, just like most of the country. Self preservation goes a long way in restricting bad behavior!

LeftCoastRight on March 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Most American airports don’t even have control towers.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

True, but those are low traffic volume airports. I fly in and out of those all the time. We don’t know what the full list of towers is. From what I have seen so far it appears that here in Oklahoma towers in the largest and 3rd largest cities will affected (I don’t know about the second largest) and hour reductions will result in no open air traffic control towers open after 11PM anywhere in the entire state.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

This is the “Firemen first” principle. The FAA could have found many other places with less impact to make cuts.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Let us not get this phucked up, these are not “CUTS“, what we are talking about is a reduction in the spending increase that they demanded. They demanded a 7% increase and they are only getting a 5% increase. They are not having $637 million in forced spending cuts, they are not getting the extra $637 million that they demanded.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The closures won’t affect anyone going to a major city airport.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Not completely true from what I am hearing.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:11 PM

This is the same FAA who proclaimed that my activated Kindle is a danger to a jumbo jet during takeoff;

Believe it or not your kindle (coupled with all the other stuff the passengers are using) does effect the navigation equipment via the antenna wires that run the length of the plane. You’re not going to crash & burn but you may go off course enough to delay your arrival a tad. Multiply that by the tens of thousands of flights and you’ll hurt the bottom line for the airlines. Big lobbying group, bend over.

LeftCoastRight on March 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I hope Rush is reading this. I’d like to hear it on Monday.

ctmom on March 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

These contractors operate at about 1/4 the cost of the feds…

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

This morning, I heard it will be Wiley Post, Westheimer in Norman, Stillwater and Lawton.

I would imagine that that would involve an awful lot of air traffic.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Most American airports don’t even have control towers.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

And some that do have towers don’t necessarily need them any more.

Here in New Hampshire, the FAA is closing the tower at Boire Field in Nashua, NH’s second-largest city. But this will have limited impact. Boire used to be the “home airport” for Daniel Webster College, which had a major-league flying curriculum, but DWC ended up getting out of that academic discipline as a result of the (original) 9/11.

And Boire doesn’t really get commercial traffic, as it’s only a few miles south of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. In addition, Nashua itself is the home of the Boston Region FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center.

Del Dolemonte on March 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Every day the government reinforces the warning to society found in Orwells’ ‘Animal Farm’.

How soon will it be when Boxer vocal opponents get sent to the glue factory GITMO?

BobMbx on March 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

I wonder how many of the political pigs in perpetuity will be flying into towerless airports? I wonder how many of them will be required to comply with the IPAB “recommendations”?

The pigs.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Between flight schedules and mandated noise abatement, many munis, regionals and small internationals don’t have any traffic after 11 PM anyhow. What’s the big deal?

Mr. Grump on March 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Of course this is all about politics. Obama is trying to make the sequestration cuts hurt the voting public in order to get sympathy for increasingly larger government budgets.

Of course the towers manned by NATCA union members will not be closed. They are Obama’s people. Unions are his power base. Most of the towers being closed are at smaller general aviation airports, with little or no commercial airline service. Airports near me that are losing ATC tower service are Jackson, TN, Tupelo, MS and Olive Branch, MS. Jackson and Tupelo both have only 2 scheduled airline flights a day at most, and OLV is strictly general aviation, although is is a very busy airport, handling a large part of the GA aircraft traffic in the Memphis, TN area.

So, the Obama administration is making sequestration cuts in very visible places, like White House tours, and airport control towers. Aren’t there no other bloated federal bureaucracies that can suffer cuts without affecting the voting public? Of course there, but that wouldn’t be the Chicago Way to lay off those employees.

simkeith on March 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Believe it or not your kindle (coupled with all the other stuff the passengers are using) does effect the navigation equipment via the antenna wires that run the length of the plane. You’re not going to crash & burn but you may go off course enough to delay your arrival a tad. Multiply that by the tens of thousands of flights and you’ll hurt the bottom line for the airlines. Big lobbying group, bend over.

LeftCoastRight on March 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

No, they don’t. They never have. They never will. There was never a danger from cell phones or laptops or any other device on A/C.

So Bob, what was all the ruckus about? Well, it started with cell phones. Remember the Airphone? Where you could call your friend or business associate for $5.00 a minute if you had a credit card?

Now, over time, more and more passengers began to purchase and use their own cell phones as the price of the phone and the service kept dropping. That hit the airlines in the pocket book. Oh, those Airphones? Nearly pure profit for the airlines. So, how did they respond? They went to their benefactor, the FAA, and said..hey, we’re losing money, we want you to prohibit electronic devices on aircraft…except for the ones we rent out for $5.00 a minute”.

What about laptops? They didn’t want people entertaining themselves, when they could pay $5.00 for a used set of earphones and watch the movie the airline provided.

Never a safety issue. Evah….

BobMbx on March 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

While it is certain that the super-political Obama regime is playing politics with the victims of the so-called sequester, what are the chances of an honest political bureaucrat coming out with the truth about how these cuts are made.

A petulant Obama is obviously urging his minions to cut the funds where the public suffers the most, and there is no defending that is exactly what the feckless top dog is doing.

As a means of repaying Obama for his political prowess and essential meaness, I would suggest that an angered citizenry eventually get even with the crook by bureaucratically cutting off the funds that the imperial family is counting on for their royal-style retirement.

Fair is fair. No funds for our minor conveniences; no funds for an imperial family retirement.

dockywocky on March 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

At least 6 are closing in Arizona, including the airport that I fly into when on a private plane. That place will be more affected because Lufthansa has a pilot training facility there and they have said they will move if there is no tower control.

But whatever, the only budget trimming this effed up administration will agree to is anything that affects public safety or convenience, they will never give up anything that would hurt Dear Leader’s lifestyle.

Bishop on March 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM

What difference, at this point, would it make?”

BobMbx on March 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

little but it might just give citizens hope that things can change. It would also spotlight Obama’s drive to score poltical points over the safety of citizens. If this was Bush the dems would have girl scouts testifying infront of congress on how the skies are now unsafe due to Bush’s cuts. If the GOP wants to win the sequester war they have to make cuts like this very unpopular for the POTUS to think about. You have to make the opposition party pay for political stunts.

unseen on March 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

This morning, I heard it will be Wiley Post, Westheimer in Norman, Stillwater and Lawton.

I would imagine that that would involve an awful lot of air traffic.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Pretty much what I heard so far. Also OKC tower will be closing at 11PM. It is a lot of traffic, Wiley Post and Norman in particular on even normal days. On OU home football weekends it is huge.

Gotta go work for a while.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Crisis, Crisis, Crisis……

The same people that want to cause a “crisis” with the air traffic control towers and close down the White House to tours, and on and on and on have no qualms about forcing Same sex marriage on our culture even though 97% of Americans aren’t directly affected by this. What’s next from these ilk?

Oh yeah, POLYamorous relationships……..and WHY NOT?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/unitarian-universalists-would-prefer-their-polyamory-activists-keep-quiet/2013/03/22/f3d14eaa-9333-11e2-8ea1-956c94b6b5b9_story.html?tid=pm_national_pop

Many Unitarians would prefer that their polyamory activists keep quiet

The joke about Unitarians is that they’re where you go when you don’t know where to go. Theirs is the religion of last resort for the intermarried, the ambivalent, the folks who want a faith community without too many rules. It is perhaps no surprise that the Unitarian Universalist Association is one of the fastest-growing denominations in the country, ballooning 15 percent over the past decade, when other established churches were shrinking. Politically progressive to its core, it draws from the pool of people who might otherwise be “nones” – unaffiliated with any church at all.

But within the ranks of the UUA over the past few years, there has been some quiet unrest concerning a small but activist group that vociferously supports polyamory. That is to say “the practice of loving and relating intimately to more than one other person at a time,” according to a mission statement by Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (UUPA). The UUPA “encourages spiritual wholeness regarding polyamory,” including the right of polyamorous people to have their unions blessed by a minister.

Will Americans ever say enough? Will they ever say no more?

PappyD61 on March 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM

When people start to realize how many federal jobs are out there maybe they will pay more attention to the BS about jobs. There are 1300 federal agencies, google it to get the full shock.

mixplix on March 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM

LeftCoastRight on March 23, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Eh, I wish I had the links still for the EMF studies done for Kindles and such; my digital watch emits greater “interference” than a Kindle, and the cable shielding in jumbo jets is Space Shuttle worthy. You would literally have to have something like 10,000 Kindles in a pile near the front of the plane to actually affect the onboard electronics.

This is a control issue, nothing more, created by FAA stooges trying to justify their jobs.

Bishop on March 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM

True, but those are low traffic volume airports. I fly in and out of those all the time. We don’t know what the full list of towers is. From what I have seen so far it appears that here in Oklahoma towers in the largest and 3rd largest cities will affected (I don’t know about the second largest) and hour reductions will result in no open air traffic control towers open after 11PM anywhere in the entire state.

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I’ve flown into some fairly busy uncontrolled fields that have planes landing and taking off every few minutes, including some commercial traffic. You probably have as well. And of course those flying under IFR will still have ATC support, just not local to the field.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

dockywocky on March 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

if the GOP wants to win they have to make Obama pay for these cuts. And to do that they must use the bully pulpit they have to “fact find”

The Speaker of the house should direct his minions in the house to begin very public hearings on the cuts the admin is making and publicly wonder why he decided to make the cuts he did. Finding 1% of cuts in the FAA budget that doesn’t impact public safety and asking why those cuts weren’t made instead.

shame and ridicule is the weapons the gOP must use agains tObama to turn the country against him for these moves.

unseen on March 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Most American airports don’t even have control towers.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I’m guessing that you do not understand what it is that an Air Port Control Tower actually does. Think of each control tower as a node in a computer network. Their distribution allows a specific geographical area to be covered by radar. Radar has physical limitations, it is not some magical spell that mystically informs the radar operator of everything in the air.

Why it is profoundly important to have so many towers is predicated upon modern aircraft flight characteristics. There is some very complex math involved, but suffice it to say, that a combination of the flight speeds and the aircraft density result in turbulence which make it lethally dangerous for passenger aircraft to cross over each others turbulence streams.

Not to mention that traveling at 500 odd miles per hour and displacing a million plus pounds means that the aircraft is producing a very substantial displacement wave in the air itself. (I’m sure you have at least once in your life been driving on a freeway and had a large truck go shooting past you and felt the pressure wave produced by the trucks larger mass displacement and velocity push your vehicle to one side) Magnify that by several orders of magnitude and you have a displacement wave that extending hundreds if not thousands of feet away from the aircraft that is capable of pushing even another commercial aircraft off course very suddenly.

Did, for example, you know that it is illegal for commercial aircraft to be closer than 2 miles apart while in flight? A commercial Aircraft has something lie a 1/2 mile turbulence I.e. “Jet-wash” behind it, that if another jet aircraft were to fly into, would stall that aircraft’s engine out in? Were you aware that there are over 5000 commercial aircraft in the air over the United States at any given minute of the day?

No, “most” American Air Ports don’t have Control Towers of their own, that’s because most American Airports barely constitute the status of “Airport” at all, they are little more than a strip of ground level enough and long enough to land a Cessna on. But… Every pilot before taking off, still has to file a flight plan and make radio contact with the Control Tower that covers his geographical area.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Aviator on March 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

I’ve flown into some fairly busy uncontrolled fields that have planes landing and taking off every few minutes, including some commercial traffic. You probably have as well. And of course those flying under IFR will still have ATC support, just not local to the field.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:31 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

Since none of the sequesterd funds are from the current actual budget, only from the projected budget, clearly this is an attempt to cause pain. Ask for the emails. Review the budget.

pat on March 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM

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.

1. That assumes that most pilots are idiots, which they are not.

2. It also assumes that no accidents happen, when towers are operative.

3. It also assumes that Obama and his have the best interest of people in mind, which they don’t.

4. It also assumes that most of those towers were needed – many were boondogles and bonanzas (favorite planes analogy intended) – see the list of which will be closed – many functioned perfectly without them, and many were staffed just for busy work. Hardly anyone will miss them, above all the pilots.

Here’s the complete list, by state.

Lufthansa, were it not so expensive to train at their home bases, wouldn’t have been here.

Glendale, AZ, which is also a training center, for pilots from all around the world, will also close the tower. I doubt that the training operations will stop, since not much was ever going on at the sleepy airport, aside from the training teams hanging out and practicing. They often remind of FL, ahead of 9/11 but that’s not PC.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM

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.

Bingo.

Plus most of these are small-town airports that are used mostly by the racist greedy bitter clingers.

petefrt on March 23, 2013 at 12:44 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

Since when? I’ve made many hundreds of takeoffs and landings at uncontrolled airports without talking to ATC.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

What’s really behind those FAA tower closures?

.
The answer can be found in another question.

Who are the people that use these smaller regional Airports , that are the most affected?

Bingo.

FlaMurph on March 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

So, does this constitute an enhanced danger to the safety of pilot and passenger, or not? If not, then I retract my initial post and I demand the closure of hundreds more towers … and the continuation of the sequestration in every facet of our lives …

Burn, Baby, burn.

Sequester the shit out of everything … and then sequester the shit out of the un-sequestered shit.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

chadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM

OMG!!!! Not Myrtle Beach!!!!!

My pilot friends won’t be able to fly over for dinner anymore!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I’ve flown into some fairly busy uncontrolled fields that have planes landing and taking off every few minutes, including some commercial traffic. You probably have as well. And of course those flying under IFR will still have ATC support, just not local to the field.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

DK and Del nailed it.

Like the sequester, if all the listed ones will be closed, to never be attended again, hardly anyone will notice. Many were sleepy fields, hardly busy, some the exceptions. This is overhyped and will be soon forgotten. Likely the local politicians will renegotiate many back to “open” as they did already. The list was much longer.

Will there be accident? Yes, a few here and there. These may or may not be related to this. There always will be more accident, way fewer than on the roads.

Like the schools, or Gifford’s (mortal shooting, in Biden’s own words), any airplane accident will be use for political faux fodder. It’s always interesting to see idiotic reporters hype such news, especially those who’ve never flown anything.

In one year, when all this is supposed to happen, it will not even be brought up any more.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

My pilot friends won’t be able to fly over for dinner anymore!!!

ladyingray on March 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Yes, they will. Any pilot worth his/her salt won’t even give this another thought. Heck, it’ll bring back lots of freedom.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

My gosh, the barnstormers and all the flight pioneers are laughing at the sissihood the country has become. This is but exhibit 1002.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Is this the third world experience yet?

jake49 on March 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

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

Unless you’re departing on an IFR flight plan, the only contact you should make is with the local UNICOM, from an uncontrolled field.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

This thread is full of ignorance.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Who are the people that use these smaller regional Airports , that are the most affected?

Bingo.

FlaMurph on March 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Some of the congresscritter who opened them, and had then controlled, are dead. Others are still looting you.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Can’t we just put up stop and go signals?

Limerick on March 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

congresscritters

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The anti-American President strikes again.

kingsjester on March 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Can’t we just put up stop and go signals?

Limerick on March 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Like in The Jetsons? If they could make that work, you just knoooow they would have to raise taxes to bring it about.

Liam on March 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Unless you’re departing on an IFR flight plan, the only contact you should make is with the local UNICOM, from an uncontrolled field.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Exactly, and that’s not even legally required (though of course highly advisable). I have about 60 hours in this plane, which doesn’t even have a radio or transponder.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 1:04 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

What’s really behind those FAA tower closures?

This is simple revenge for daring to oppose Obama’s every wish.

The FAA has more money than they had last year: no closures are necessary. This is simply your government behaving like an infant and throwing a fit. A competent manager is one who figures out how to make things better and minimize pain and inconvenience.

Attacking our own citizens in this way ought to be an impeachable offense. If our RINO leaders can’t bring themselves to oppose this kind of action in a meaningful way, maybe we can get a few State and/or Local authorities to fire a few bureaucrats who are abusing citizens: this would at least send a message.

landlines on March 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

WSJ: Sequester cuts could delay flights at busy U.S. airports by up to 90 minutes starting in April.

Airlines Dispute Planned Air-Controller Cuts
FAA Says Sequester Forces Employee Furloughs, While Industry Argues Passengers Are Being Used as Political Pawns

petefrt on March 23, 2013 at 1:08 PM

What’s really behind those FAA tower closures?

…the administration looks on them…as Phalanx Symbols ?

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Exactly, and that’s not even legally required (though of course highly advisable). I have about 60 hours in this plane, which doesn’t even have a radio or transponder.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Indeed, why I said “should”. I smiled at the “highly advisable”, of course. It’s a serious matter, to be sure.

Thanks for sharing the Aeronca. No transponder, no IFR :)

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

$637 million? Heck keep Joe Biden from going to Europe for the rest of the term (3X365X.5 million a night ) and we all get free medical care are and open airports, if you calculate savings the way the White House does….

Don L on March 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Obama is a swine who uses people as political fodder.

In addition, all the gov’t areas s/b audited and the extra/redundant/unnecessary fat be trimmed. They live like kings/queens on the backs of the people, whom they hate, from both sides of the isle.

Did you see that bloated aristocratic azzhole McConnell “these were some of the finest hours in the senate”…this last night. After 13 hours they passed a budget, first in 4 years, a trillion more in taxes, zero debt reduction and lots of pork. May they all suffocate.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

…and no balanced budget, ever. Go to Hades, McConnell and Reid.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Since when? I’ve made many hundreds of takeoffs and landings at uncontrolled airports without talking to ATC.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The United States adopted the ICAO Airspace regulations in 1993. You know damned well that you are being both disingenuous and dishonest, You cannot enter “Flight A, B, C, D or E Airspace” without contacting a regional Control Tower. That leaves you in Class G Airspace, basically that means you aren’t going anywhere, just circling around like a kite. A maximum altitude of 1200 feet and lateral destination of a maximum of three miles from the center of the declared Class G flight space center.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Obama is a swine who uses people as political fodder hostages.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

You’re never wrong, but I felt compelled to add my own personal twist.

Liam on March 23, 2013 at 1:22 PM

As has been said, why don’t we just keep the 2% of the federal budget that seems to pay for everything important and get rid of the other 98%?

jnelchef on March 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Here in Colorado, our small ports were on the chopping block.

THEN…. all of a sudden the ANTI GUN bill passed and 3 days later our small stations were removed from the chopping block and missed the cut. All airports are open!

Coincidence???

No…

katy on March 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

As has been said, why don’t we just keep the 2% of the federal budget that seems to pay for everything important and get rid of the other 98%?

jnelchef on March 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I call Thread Winner here.

Liam on March 23, 2013 at 1:28 PM

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Approx. 95% of US airspace is outside of class A, B, C, or D.

All uncontrolled airports (outside of A-D) are within class E or G and NO contact with ATC is required.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

….shhhhhh!…let it talk!…adds to its long list ignorance repertoire!…some of us keep track!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The United States adopted the ICAO Airspace regulations in 1993. You know damned well that you are being both disingenuous and dishonest, You cannot enter “Flight A, B, C, D or E Airspace” without contacting a regional Control Tower. That leaves you in Class G Airspace, basically that means you aren’t going anywhere, just circling around like a kite. A maximum altitude of 1200 feet and lateral destination of a maximum of three miles from the center of the declared Class G flight space center.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:20 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

No, KOOL. On this DC is right.

On the China propaganda he’s wrong. See the Russians/Chinese forming the new world order. It will not lead to anything good. Oh, in that space, no one flies, unless they say so!!!

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Recent headlines: Biden’s Hotel bill for two days to Rome, $2,000,000.00. Put another way, that’s 2 ½ times the ANNUAL inflated cost of the White House tours that were canceled.

This total administration just doesn’t get it. They do not even try.

Another point in this FAA Towers is that there are Air Ports that are getting towers for the first time. How many?? Where?? I know that the Salisbury Wicomico Airport in Maryland is one of them.

jpcpt03 on March 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

The United States adopted the ICAO Airspace regulations in 1993. You know damned well that you are being both disingenuous and dishonest, You cannot enter “Flight A, B, C, D or E Airspace” without contacting a regional Control Tower. That leaves you in Class G Airspace, basically that means you aren’t going anywhere, just circling around like a kite. A maximum altitude of 1200 feet and lateral destination of a maximum of three miles from the center of the declared Class G flight space center.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

No ATC contact is required for VFR flight in Class E airspace either. I got 100% on my private written exam in 1999 and passed the practical easily on the first try. I think I might know the applicable regulations a bit better than you.

DarkCurrent on March 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

and watched as this happened. PSA Flight 182

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

But good one, that was controlled, and it still happened, for shame.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I see what you’re getting at, SW, that the Cessna was the stray.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

See, this is what I don’t understand.

You can see, clearly, how political and full of bs it is to say that cutting this measly amount from their huge budget requires shutting down arguably one of the most important functions of the agency rather than trimming in other places where it would obviously be possible. And how making it about “Air traffic control towers” is purposefully intended to make people not want to enforce the very reasonable cuts.

But you can’t see how playing a 2.6% tax on the 120 billion dollar medical devices sector, which is about to receive gargantuan increases in business with the increase in required health care coverage, as going to cost lives from lost R&D isn’t the same exact thing?

Either direction, with two different organizations one taking cuts one taking tax increases, it’s all the same deal and nothing but bs. Make it seem as bad as possible when it’s really not so as to get the low info public on your side of the issue when it’s all just politics.

It’s like a one-way blindness where people can only see hypocrisy in the other side. It’s absolute BS that these cuts can’t be undertaken without shutting down towers, and it’s absolute bs that a health care industry that has a 120 billion dollar a year revenue stream and is about to see a huge jump in profits can’t handle a 2.6% increase in taxes without killing people off because they can’t innovate.

Politics. Optics. Bs. On all sides.

Make the cuts and call for hearings about cutting towers for politics instead of actual waste. And buck up and stop subverting our right to representation by representing lobbyist groups in the first place and don’t repeal the medical devices tax.

This knife HAS to cut both ways. When your in debt in your own home, you don’t just slow down your spending, you start putting more back for bills as well.

But whatever, I’m just a normal American. The only thing they ask of me is for my vote to do it all again no matter the letter before the representatives name.

Genuine on March 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Avgas taxes are in place, federal and state.

Obama hates airplanes, except his own, er Airforce One.

He’ll likely intend to kill off most other, by increasing the avgas tax exponentially.

Yet, the fat cats vote for the charlatan who’ll destroy them and their businesses.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

….shhhhhh!…let it talk!…adds to its long list ignorance repertoire!…some of us keep track!

KOOLAID2 on March 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I 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

If I recall the numbers right – someone interviewed/questioned a top FAA official about tower closing due to sequestration and drove home the point that the FAA budget has doubled since 9/11 while fewer planes are now criss-crossing the skies. When asked why with fewer planes to control and a budget double that of 12 years ago towers needed to be closed, the FAA troll just sat there and smiled, fumbled a bit and changed the topic.

in_awe on March 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Some of the congresscritter who opened them, and had then controlled, are dead. Others are still looting you.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Like this one?

Minor grammar beef: it’s Pittsburgh with an “h” when it’s the one in Pennsylvania.

PatriotGal2257 on March 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM

PatriotGal2257 on March 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Yep, Murtha’s dead and his boondogle is alive.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

How many of these closures will be on the Southern border? It will be a lot easier for drug smugglers and terrorists to enter the country with no one around to see them off load.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Yep and regardless of what Fox News has to say, DHS and Obama don’t mind buying up most of the available ammo.

DDay on March 23, 2013 at 2:19 PM

the FAA troll just sat there and smiled, fumbled a bit and changed the topic.

in_awe on March 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

He knew he was shoveling a Liebherr T 282B load of BS.

SWalker on March 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

I know of one in Texas.

DDay on March 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

On the other hand, we finally (!) have a conservative/Tea Party congressman in that district, something I thought I’d never see in my lifetime.

PatriotGal2257 on March 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2