New York Post:
Sequester forces FAA to close 149 air traffic control towers
The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close 149 air traffic control towers at small airports around the country because of federal budget cuts.
The agency announced the decision Friday, a month after it released a preliminary list of facilities that could be closed.
All of the affected airports will remain open. Pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. That’s something they are trained to do, but airport directors have raised concerns about the potential impact on safety.
In an accompanying statement, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says the agency will take steps to ensure safe operations at the affected airports.
I’m not a pilot but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. Here’s what DrewM at Ace of Spades HQ had to say the other day:
At an airport like this (as opposed to ones in NYC, LA, ATL or even midsized ones like San Jose, Orlando, or Nashville), there’s very little traffic to sequence and pilots have plenty of tools to work safely in and around the airport.
People who aren’t pilots tend to have an overinflated sense of what air traffic controllers do. At an airport like the on in the story, the answer is not that much. They don’t have radar, they don’t have the ability to provide what are called “separation services” (which is what it sounds like…the ability to tell planes where to go to keep them from hitting each other).
Notice no actual pilots were interviewed in this story. My guess is most of them would just shrug if asked what closing this tower will mean to them. Sure, it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes (and that’s all a tower controller here really is*, though you can’t assume they are ever actually watching) but beyond that, it’s a non-event.
There’s nothing inherently unsafe about an airport with this level of traffic not having a control tower (again, right now 1/2 the flights operate under these conditions already).
Keep stories like this in mind as you see more and more about how devastating the sequester will be. Reporters often have no clue what they are writing about, they are just pushing a storyline. They hope the accumulation of a million little cuts (and inflating their impacts) will force the GOP to cave.
There are lots of small airports around the country. There are probably thousands of private landing strips. Then there are all those seaplanes that are designed to land on small bodies of water.
The fact is that every day there are planes taking off and landing without the aid of air traffic controllers. This sequestration move is really no big deal.
But Obama doesn’t want you to know that.
More Street Theater distractions….$85 billion cuts is a BFD, the Fed buying $85 billion of junk MBS per month to keep the stock market balloon inflated……crickets!!!
Update on the baby that was shot in GA
That is a gut-wrenching story. And the cynic in me is ready to bet that if the shooter is black, the media and the prog bloggers will barely say a word about it. Oh, look, there goes George Zimmerman……
brought this up from down stairs
list of possible tower closings
Click to access Facilities_Could_Be_Closed.pdf
I am familiar with one of them – Castle Airport in Atwater, CA.
The airport is a former AF base and gets virtually no traffic.
It is – or was – an alternate airport, though, when the coastal airports got fogged in for long periods. Sometimes the air freighters coming into the Monterey Bay and Silicon Valley area use it at night and have stuff trucked to/from it over the pass.
We fly a small plane, and our tower closed. It totally sucks.
I can’t imagine what kind of clusterfuck it will be with no controller.
It’s not just some grass field. This airport houses small private planes, a State Police helicopter/rescue unit, Civil Air Patrol, several small private jet services, 2 flight school, and other assorted businesses.
It’s much to busy to not be towered.
There’s already a lot going on for a pilot during landing and takeoff.
Now they’ll also have to be on the radio reporting their positions to the other planes and doing what the controllers had been doing-monitoring traffic.
Years ago we flew into Bar Harbor Airport in Maine on a very busy summer day. There’s no tower and it was hopping. I have a few grey hairs on my head from that experience 🙂
I took flying lessons for a while from my best friends dad , and i loved it . I do remember being very excited that I found the airport from the air on my first trip out ., and that was a very small airport
I wish I could have taken enough lessons to get my license but it just wasn’t in the stars .
Salisbury-OceanCity Wicomico Regional is our local airport and it is no small change little tiny airport for Cessnas . There are regular shuttles to Baltimore , DC , Philadelphia and other large airports . I love it because it is small , but it isn’t that small . This really sucks
REALLY SUCKS .
Kind of ironic, some of those towers have just been built…. with federal stimulus money designed to create jobs. One cost well over 5 million to build but now that’s it’s built, they can’t afford to staff it. Of course they will blame that on the sequester, but the truth is, nobody had a plan on how to pay for the air traffic controllers anyway! It was like, we’ll just build it and worry about the cost to run it later.
It’s kind of ironic that there are major construction projects going on and even a few where they’re just breaking ground on new towers like the one you mention……..while ATC’s are being furloughed.
As to the small airports it’s true many of them operate this way already during certain hours, but air carriers fly in and out of some of the airports with towers slated to be closed. There are normally controllers on duty during the hours that the air carriers (regional jets) fly in and out, but that is soon to change.
Hours are also going to be shortened at many mid-sized airports and TRACONS which many air carriers fly in and out of. Speaking of mid-sized or medium sized airports……I take exception to the guy from Ace you quoted; Orlando International is the 13th busiest airport in the US…..nobody refers to it as mid-sized, unless he was speaking of Orlando Executive, but I don’t think he was. So take that into account as to how much stock you put into his opinion. Of course you don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, but I guarantee you I’m talking to a real live 30 year air traffic control veteran.
The news is choosing to spotlight these small towers, but the furloughs will take place across the entire air traffic system. The other furloughs won’t start kicking in until after April 20th, we already have our first 3 furlough dates. How much impact the furloughs have at the busier facilities will depend on the day, the staffing and the weather. Luckily this is slow season as far as flying, air travel ticks up after Memorial Day.
My suggestion to everyone is fly in and out of major airports and schedule your flights between say 7am and 7-9pm depending on where you’re going……just aim to be on the ground about dinner time and definitely by bedtime.
I’m not disputing anything you say. But do you really believe that the government has no other choice but to close critical air traffic control facilities because of a less-than 3% cut in the federal budget?
No I absolutely do not believe that, not at all and if I somehow gave you that impression I’m sorry. I am appalled by their actions and have said so several times. I have repeatedly said that the sequester appears to be being implemented in a purposely harmful way, imho. I have repeatedly said that in my husband’s 30, almost 31 year career we’ve never seen this. ATC services have always been exempt and considered essential services.
There are areas within the FAA itself that could be cut, but that’s not going to happen. I’m telling you never has this happened before, R or D POTUS, complete government shut down…..ATC was spared. I can tell you all the ATC’s I know do NOT like being used as political pawns. They all take their jobs VERY seriously and will do their best to keep things going as normally as possible.
Things are going to slow down once the furloughs kick in, that’s just how it works if they don’t have the bodies they can’t push the tin. I could be wrong, but I would imagine the greatest impact will be in the NY, DC, and Chicago areas.
Oh and here is a link of airports showing operations.
I tried to get a link from the FAA, but couldn’t find it in a neat list like this……however I verified what I said about MCO (Orlando) with the official FAA count.
Cypriot Parliament adopts law giving government powers to impose capital control on banks – @Reuters
Cyprus parliament passes measures to create “national solidarity fund” and to control movement of capital
cyprus looks like it is going to ugly
Check out this chart from zero hedge – Cyprus use dto be AA- in 2010 – constant slide since then
passed 3 bills. restructure banks,, limit withdrawals in emergency, small tax on all bank accounts
do not think too many people will be putting money in banks anymore.
buy stocks in home safes and tin cans
sadly this is true
jesse jackson is a total ass.
where was he when the city started to be in trouble?
I’m with Detroit sort of like wmcb is with foreign nations. Don’t give them any more money and leave these folks alone to work it out amongst themselves. JJ and his bunch have the morals of coyotes scrapping over shreds and scraps of mutton left behind when the wolves were finished tearing the sheep apart, anyway,
Regardless of where one stands on gay marriage, this kid is pretty awesome
that young lady does make a very good point
Spot on. Many intellectually limited folks believe government originated “marriage”, instead of merely recognizing it as an institution beneficial to the common weal. They confuse it with libraries when it is more like childbirth.
Marriage is a social construct designed to conserve capital and provide for the care of children and pregnant/nursing mothers. A true marriage involves both rights and responsibilities/costs and benefits.
this story about CBS and the stupidity of the amazing race show is not going to go away. whether or not you like Bob Bechel his comment today about Viet Nam defining the baby boomer generation is true.
Worked with many Viet Nam Vets. had a neighbor’s kid who got a scholarship of his choice and went to Temple. one of his professors told his class he would give them an A for the semester it they would join the march on Washington against the war. The kid got up and walked out of class. Joined the service and went to Viet Nam.
Many, many differences of agreement over that war. Many felt a lot of pain on both sides
Klown, your friend toure is asking for another spanking
I’m too tired. I’ve been trimming my bush.
It was really overgrown. I used an electric trimmer to cut it back and shape it so it looked nice.
There was a huge mess to clean up when I was done.
I hope it wasn’t a burning bush. 😆
No, but there were some critters living in there.
Not sure what to make of this other than another powerful lobby flexes its muscles and gets a get out of obamacare card? Or is this the first domino?
Praying it is a Domino. 🙂
Just to prove all government workers aren’t heartless there’s this Silly Quote from the distant past:
“Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.”
–Department of Social Services, Greenville , South Carolina
Well they VOTE so why not get food stamps. 😆
congressional staffers on slave wages can not even afford a bowl of soup. dippy debbie
Bring a Bologna sammich in a brown bag like the rest of us…. 😆
new drug fad??
I think many of you know this lady
yeah backtrack bunch know where to hurt.
Friendship Park to close due to sequester
hope many remember all these BS cuts that unnecessary instead of common sense cuts in 2014 and throw out every democrat up for reelection
I’m not voting for any incumbent.
Me either vote em all out. :evil;
These cuts in air traffic controllers are definitely being done to make sure we all suffer for not taking care of President Pissypants’s sequester mess. In my state, the cuts seem designed to happen at the busiest, most geographically challenging airports. There are quite a few tiny airports in this state that really don’t need anybody, but instead they’re cutting the busier ones surrounded by houses, highways, and hills.
“never let a good crisis go to waste” BO and crew’s motto. And if you don’t have a good crisis, why not make your own. Thus, close towers where risk is high. Classy, Zero, classy.