Alexandria, VA - The U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA), an affiliate organization of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), today commended leaders and members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for approving dedicated funding to keep 251 contract towers across the country open and operational beyond September 30 and throughout the upcoming fiscal year. Both the House and Senate appropriations committees have included dedicated funding for contract towers as part of their respective annual spending bills for the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) covering the fiscal year (2014) that runs from October 1 through September 30, 2014.
"Even in the face of difficult budget constraints, lawmakers from both parties and from both sides of the Capitol have signaled once again their strong support for keeping contract towers open and operational beyond September 30 and throughout the upcoming fiscal year," USCTA Executive Director J. Spencer Dickerson said today. "The inclusion of dedicated funding for the Contract Tower Program as part of both the House and Senate funding bills for the FAA is significant and reaffirms the bipartisan, bicameral view that the Contract Tower Program is a high priority and too important to be targeted for disproportionate funding cuts."
Earlier today, the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee met separately and approved their respective versions of the fiscal year 2014 spending bill for DOT, FAA, and other federal agencies. The House bill includes a minimum of $140 million in dedicated funding for the Contract Tower Program, including $10.35 million for the Contract Tower Cost-Share Program. The Senate bill provides $140.35 million in dedicated funding for the Contract Tower Program, including $10.35 million for the Contract Tower Cost-Share Program.
USCTA has advocated for additional specificity in the annual DOT/FAA funding bill with regard to the Contract Tower Program to ensure that critical facilities supported by the program are not targeting for closure because of sequestration and other factors.
ABOUT USCTA:The U.S. Contract Tower Association was created by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) in 1996 to promote the benefits of the Contract Tower Program and to enhance aviation safety at smaller airports across the country.
ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.
The associations have asked Congress for $136.1 million for the fully funded contract towers as well as $10.35 million authorized for the continuation of the Contact Tower Cost-sharing Program.
"We are grateful that the leaders of DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration have moved to utilize the clear authority provided by the Congress to keep contract towers open and operational...
Senate passed legislation provides the Secretary of Transportation the funding flexibility