Sending Office: Brownley (CA), Julia
Support FY2021 Appropriations for the Contract Tower Program
Current Signers: Abraham, Beatty, Brownley, Carbajal, Cohen, Courtney, R. Davis, DeFazio, DeLauro, DeSaulnier, Deutch, Foster, Gonzalez, Gonzalez-Colon, Graves (LA), Grijalva, Hastings, Horsford, Kelly (IL), Kelly
(MS), LaMalfa, Larsen, Long, McGovern, Panetta, Plaskett,
Posey, Ratcliffe, Sablan, Smith (WA), Stanton, Thompson (MS), Tipton, Westerman, Wilson, Vargas,
Veasey, Young, Zeldin
We write to invite you to sign onto our letter supporting the Federal Aviation Administration’s Contract Tower Program in Fiscal Year 2021.
As you may know, the FAA Contract Tower Program has been in place for over 30 years and exemplifies how the private sector and federal government can partner together to improve air traffic safety in a proven, cost-effective manner.
Currently, 256 communities in 46 states benefit from the enhanced safety and improved air traffic control (ATC) services provided by FAA contract towers. These towers reinforce a unified national ATC system and play a vital role in connecting smaller airports
and rural America with the national air transportation system.
Many airports that participate in the Federal Contract Tower Program are located near or adjacent to military bases and serve as significant readiness or training facilities for military units. Additionally, it is important to note that 70 percent of contract
tower controllers are veterans.
To sign the letter, please email Sharon Wagener (Sharon.Wagener@mail.house.gov) with Congresswoman Julia Brownley. The deadline to sign is close of business on Tuesday, March 10th.
JULIA BROWNLEY RODNEY DAVIS
Member of Congress Member of Congress
FREDERICA WILSON JOHN RATCLIFFE
Member of Congress Member of Congress
March XX, 2019
Chairman David Price Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart
House Appropriations Subcommittee on House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Housing and Urban Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development, and Related Agencies Development, and Related Agencies
Washington, D.C. 20515 Washington, D.C. 20515
Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart:
We write to thank the Subcommittee for its past support of the contract air traffic control program and again request that the Subcommittee include language fully funding the Contract Tower Program in the FY2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
Appropriations bill. The bill language would ensure funding for all contract air traffic control towers that are operating at airports in service for FY2021 as well as adding several more qualified airport candidates to the program.
As you know, the Contract Tower Program has been in place for over 30 years and exemplifies how the private sector and federal government can partner together to improve air traffic safety in a proven, cost-effective manner for the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) and the American taxpayers. Currently, 256 communities in 46 states benefit from the enhanced safety and improved air traffic control (ATC) services provided by FAA contract towers. These towers reinforce a unified national ATC system and play a vital
role in connecting smaller airports and rural America with the national air transportation system.
Not only do these contract towers provide an important safety service, but they do so in a cost-effective fashion as validated in numerous reports by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. FAA contract towers handle approximately 29
percent of all U.S. air traffic control tower operations, but account for just 10 percent of the FAA’s overall budget allotted to tower operations. Additionally, the Contract Tower Program arguably provides the FAA and American taxpayers annual savings of
approximately $200 million. Contract towers also play an important role in disaster and emergency relief efforts, as well as for military operations.
Many airports that participate in the Federal Contract Tower Program are located near or adjacent to military bases and serve as significant readiness or training facilities for military units. Additionally, it is important to note that
70 percent of contract tower controllers are veterans.
As the Department of Transportation (DOT) has yet to provide evidence for a need to close any contract air traffic control tower, or proof that such closure would not compromise the safety of our skies, we believe it is necessary and important to continue
to include language mandating the funding of these towers that are so important to communities we serve. We understand that in a time of record deficits it is necessary that all federally funded programs be looked at for potential savings. We believe that
all taxpayer dollars should be spent responsibly and repeated studies by DOT’s Inspector General have shown that the contract tower program increases safety and reduces costs to the FAA and taxpayers.
As the Appropriations Committee once again considers federal funding, we hope that the Subcommittee will include language that would reaffirm to DOT and the FAA the need for fairness and safety at all airports, especially those serving smaller cities and
rural communities. Contract air traffic control towers exist to direct aircraft, ensure the safety of our skies, and provide a safe space for military operations across our country. The importance of these towers cannot be dismissed, and any reforms made
to the funding levels of these towers should be made in a fair, transparent, and safe manner.
The specific FY2021 bill language that we request is as follows:
That such funds as necessary made available by this Act shall be provided to ensure the continued operation of all towers in the contract tower program that are located at airports in service during Fiscal Year 2021 and any qualified
airport candidates, and remain in operation during the duration of this Act.
We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to working with you to complete the FY2021 appropriations bills.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0