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ATC Facility "Fiscal Cliff" Closures  
User currently offlineDreamflight767 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 86 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9294 times:
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Thought I share some news articles covering the possibility of 240 ATC facilities closing and at least 1,500 controllers who might be layed off by Jan. 3rd if an agreement is not reached:

http://www.federaltimes.com/article/...-cuts-under-sequester-would-costly

http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/article...l-cliff-could-impact-aviation.html

http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...r-looming-automatic-spending-cuts/

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineushermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2964 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9206 times:

This will not happen.


Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9176 times:

I don't think the list is correct. The author fails to mention any of the VFR towers without any airline service and I imagine these would be the first to go. The contract tower program also only applies to VFR towers.

User currently offlineNBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 795 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8994 times:

The 240 towers that could be shuttered would all be Federal Contract Towers that do not have any EAS/Airline service, no FAA operated ATC facilities will be closed. And all I have to say is, as one of the controllers that will become unemployed by this...thank you for the free hand outs the government will now be obligated to provide me and my family.


"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineDreamflight767 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8946 times:
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There are many rumors floating around about this situation. Some say all "non-essential" personal will be the first to be furlough. Others say facility personal will receive reduced work schedule to the extent that all level 5 & 6 facilities (both contract and federal) will close/operate as ATC-0, others statements said that facilities will have reduced operating hours.

User currently offlineordjoe From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7677 times:

Seems like a good deal of those airports are either fairly insignificant, totally dependent on EAS subsidies or within a few hour drive of a real airport. This might be a good opportunity to cut back expenses that are really not needed. Many times I do not want to see people loose their jobs, but this country is flat broke. something has to give.

User currently offlinepanam330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2669 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7307 times:

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 5):
Many times I do not want to see people loose their jobs, but this country is flat broke. something has to give.

Agreed, but there is a lot of other fat in this horribly bloated government that could be cut LONG before they should start screwing around with our outdated, overworked air system. Taking controllers out of the system is the LAST thing they should be doing, no matter how 'insignificant' the facility may be.


User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6896 times:

I haven't heard the rumor about the level 5s and 6s, could you elaborate?

User currently offlineGulfstream650 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2008, 537 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6622 times:

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 5):

What is a "real" airport?

My local airport is LEX, an airport on the list and I fly from this airport both as a pilot and passenger. To contemplate this airport having its control tower "removed" is quite ridiculous.

Very many times I have been in the position of finding myself number 5-8 for landing with numbers 1-8 being s mixture of aircraft from ultralights to heavies - a mixture of IFR and VFR.

Not only do we have heads of state (HM Queen, Dubai & Qatar Sovereigns and numerous VIPs etc) coming in, types such as 747-400, A340, B777, BBJs, ACJs etc.

Everyday ops at the airport include CRJs, ERJs, A319, MD80, B737, B727, B757 (Allegiant route closed) and various other GA types.



I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12888 posts, RR: 100
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6423 times:
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Overall this is blustering. Notice how they never threaten to close the stuff we all think is a waste?

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 3):
And all I have to say is, as one of the controllers that will become unemployed by this...thank you for the free hand outs the government will now be obligated to provide me and my family.

We wish you well. I'm not happy the politicians are playing this game, but the reality is that the budget must be brought in line. I left the defense industry as the 'writing is on the wall.' I hope you and yours do well during your 'unemployment.' Hopefully you will be able to spend extra time with your family. On our tax dollars.  

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineb757capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6307 times:

I'm sure UPS will be thrilled when RFD's tower shuts down.


The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
User currently offlineKLASM83 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5768 times:

I saw that BFI and GFK were on that list. Both busy airports for different reasons, but would cripple one or two important tenants if they were shuttered.


Amazing how politics spends more time doing nothing these days.



Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4449 times:

Seriously? Who could possibly be so ignorant as to create that map of "closures"?

The author made absolutely no attempt to look at the cold, hard facts regarding the traffic at these airports. Some of these airports, such add DAB, LEX, SFB, PIE, SRQ (just to name a few) have massive amounts of GA traffic with DAB and SFB having tons of student training from Embry-Riddle and Delta Connection Academy. The closure of the Tower/TRACON at DAB would be absolutely crippling to the student training there and the closure of the Tower at SFB would be just as bad.

SBN, for example, performs a lot of IFR sequencing for ORD and MDW as well as approach services for 18 satellite airports. I think RFD does the same as SBN just on the West side of the O'Hare complex. The point is that many of these airports on the "list" provide services not only for their own airport but for other airports as well. Simply axing them based on passenger counts would be crazy. I don't think our centers are ready for the onslaught of extra low-level work; nor do they want it.

FWA just got a brand new tower and TRACON recently and AZO the same. AZO is rumored to be the home of the future consolidated TRACON (if it isn't already) that would bring AZO, GRR, MKG, BTL and I believe FNT into the same building. If you ask me building more consolidated TRACONS is a better way to save money, not axing towers.

And where were the contract towers on the map? I don't think I saw one..... There are so many contract towers that see less than 100 ops a day that could be closed.



"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4286 times:

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 5):
Seems like a good deal of those airports are either fairly insignificant, totally dependent on EAS subsidies or within a few hour drive of a real airport.

That's a bit of an overstatement. Many of these airports are not exactly "insignificant" and many that might be considered so are not on the list.

This list makes no sense. Just of the top of my head, airports like ALW, YKM, PDT, RDM, and MSO are not on it, yet they're saying places like BIL, FAT, ABE, MSN, SFB, or ICT (and more) are in danger of closing?

Does that list have some sort of source or did someone just throw darts at all non Class B airports on the map?

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 3):
The 240 towers that could be shuttered would all be Federal Contract Towers that do not have any EAS/Airline service, no FAA operated ATC facilities will be closed.

So where did this list come from?



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4646 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4233 times:

There are dozens and dozens of FAA towers today that should be contract towers.... that alone would save tens of millions annually and should be done regardless. Any talk of places like SFB is just trying to sensationalize the issue.


Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4123 times:

Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 14):
There are dozens and dozens of FAA towers today that should be contract towers.... that alone would save tens of millions annually and should be done regardless. Any talk of places like SFB is just trying to sensationalize the issue.

I don't think "sensationalize" is a correct term here   SFB does handle 600+ ops a day; far more than some airports that are not on the list. PAX boardings alone should not be relied upon to determine the value of a tower and whether it should remain or not.

I do agree, however, that there are many airports that could be shifted to contract towers. Those airports could be facilities such as SFB that have no radar facility. However, those facilities that have both a tower and TRACON are not as simple to deal with.



"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlinetsra From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3909 times:

Just my take, but the list in the article is not the airports with towers that the government intends to close. The US Contract Tower Association issued a report in August talking about how the government wants to close all contract towers. How many towers is that you ask? 246.

User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4646 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

Quoting cleared2land (Reply 15):
I don't think "sensationalize" is a correct term here SFB does handle 600+ ops a day; far more than some airports that are not on the list. PAX boardings alone should not be relied upon to determine the value of a tower and whether it should remain or not.

Air traffic "levels" have always been based on operations and not enplanements. Places like TEB, and VNY require more ATC services than an airport like ITH which has a contract tower.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3827 times:

Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 17):
Air traffic "levels" have always been based on operations and not enplanements. Places like TEB, and VNY require more ATC services than an airport like ITH which has a contract tower.


Correct   That is what makes that map total crapola. I should have said that passenger counts should NOT be used. Had that map used operation counts instead the discussion would be very different.

[Edited 2012-12-10 09:42:02]


"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3753 times:

Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 14):
There are dozens and dozens of FAA towers today that should be contract towers....

Contracting saves no one money.

Look at the Flight Service Station fiasco...



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2240 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3690 times:

Quoting cleared2land (Reply 15):
However, those facilities that have both a tower and TRACON are not as simple to deal with.

PUB is a most recent example that stituation being handled. The RADAR was remoted to the Denver TRACON, "poof", PUB tower becomes stand alone.

Quoting mmedford (Reply 19):
Contracting saves no one money.

Look at the Flight Service Station fiasco...

Yup. And, I expect the "Privatization" discusions aren't far away. The Canadian and UK systems will be the fist examples pointed to.

There's long been the desire in the FAA to reduce the number of ARTCCs. 20 in the lower 48. Houston may be the first Center to go, as it is located in a building owned by the city of Houston, on prime airport property. The remaining Centers are in FAA owned buildings.

The reducton in TRACONs has been progressing for some time now, combining adjacent facilities, or combining smaller at larger. ie: PUB to DEN. DAB was at one point to combine to MCO. In some cases, RADAR has been installed at towered airports and remoted to another facility as part of the plan. MSO got RADAR, and it was remoted to GEG. Gainesville, Florida to JAX. GJT to DEN.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 20):
The reducton in TRACONs has been progressing for some time now, combining adjacent facilities, or combining smaller at larger. ie: PUB to DEN. DAB was at one point to combine to MCO. In some cases, RADAR has been installed at towered airports and remoted to another facility as part of the plan. MSO got RADAR, and it was remoted to GEG. Gainesville, Florida to JAX. GJT to DEN.

I believe the AZO Consolidated TRACON is supposed to be online in 2013 which will bring GRR, LAN and MKG under the same roof at AZO. RFD-C90-SBN was supposed to be combined a long time ago but NATCA, IIRC, somehow prevented that from happening.

I really think this is a great place for the FAA to start if they want to save money.



"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

Supposedly TTH, SBN, FWA, EVV, could probably put Grissom in that group, approach are going to be moved to IND in the future. The tower at IND was built with this move in mind but something is holding it up. That is something I have heard in my time in Indiana.


Boiler Up!
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

Quoting cleared2land (Reply 21):
DAB was at one point to combine to MCO

I was at Embry-Riddle when this first came up. It seems to be a constant back-and-forth over this issue. Heck even sections of airspace have flip-flopped back-and-forth between DAB and MCO TRACONs. Honestly, though, i'm not sure how MCO would handle the large volume of VFR traffic over DAB. They had, at one time, given up the airspace over and around Cape Canaveral because they didn't have the scopes or staff to handle the traffic but DAB did. Guess we'll see.



"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3580 times:

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 22):

Supposedly TTH, SBN, FWA, EVV, could probably put Grissom in that group, approach are going to be moved to IND in the future. The tower at IND was built with this move in mind but something is holding it up. That is something I have heard in my time in Indiana.
SBN would be merged with C90 if anything due to the large number of arrivals going to MDW and ORD that SBN currently drops and sequences for C90. I could, however, see EVV getting moved to IND, and HUF if it hasn't already. Now FWA is a unique case since they just got a new TRACON with their tower...but having FWA-EVV-Grissom-HUF-IND in one facility makes sense.

[Edited 2012-12-10 12:13:14]

[Edited 2012-12-10 12:14:17]


"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 9
Reply 25, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3473 times:

Now; I can see the FAA combining centers/tracons for a reduction in facilities...

tbh; We don't need several buildings for the same concept of routing digital data. Things will change in ARTCC/Tracon environment; not in the airports.



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4646 posts, RR: 11
Reply 26, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3465 times:

Quoting mmedford (Reply 19):
Contracting saves no one money.

Look at the Flight Service Station fiasco...

I agree for anything on the national level, but anything Class D and most places with a TRSA would see no degradation in coverage or service with a contract tower, and most of those facilities cost half of what an FAA staffed facility would.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 9
Reply 27, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3444 times:

Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 26):
I agree for anything on the national level, but anything Class D and most places with a TRSA would see no degradation in coverage or service with a contract tower, and most of those facilities cost half of what an FAA staffed facility would.

There is much more to a facility than just controllers; contract towers are always sub-par in some way to FAA owned facilities.



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently offlineMeanGreen From United States of America, joined May 2006, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3359 times:

In my opinion the consolidation of TRACONs is another not well thought out plan. As you get rid of the smaller up-downs you lose more environments for new controllers to learn radar at. Training new controllers at the super TRACONs has been a huge failure and a huge waste of money. You need these mid level places so you can staff your large places in the future. My understanding is that at the combined places you would work your old airport's traffic along with common functions.

User currently offlineN908AW From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 922 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3332 times:

Any map that shows SCK as being in rural Carver County, Minn., is not likely to be a reliable one.

GFK, for instance, is a level 8. It looks like somebody just plugged in all of the Class Cs (though there are a few big ones missing) and lower facilities and called it good.



'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3161 times:

Quoting cleared2land (Reply 24):

That actually makes a bit more sense...I think I miss heard when I was talking to the ATC recruiter...but I'm certain they said something about FWA, even though FWA does have a new tower- it seams they are really pushing super TRACONS.

What I would really like to know is what is going to happen (not related to the fiscal Cliff) what's the FAA thinking about TRSA's like PSP, AZO etc...



Boiler Up!
User currently offlinecleared2land From United States of America, joined May 2010, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 30):
What I would really like to know is what is going to happen (not related to the fiscal Cliff) what's the FAA thinking about TRSA's like PSP, AZO etc...

I don't see them really doing much about the TRSAs. The charted airspace has pretty much nothing to do with IFR traffic; they are really there for the VFR guys...basically. I don't think AZO has the emplanements to constitute a Class C but the airspace must have enough traffic to warrant something greater than a non-radar Class D. Not exactly sure. MKG may be another story. They did, at one time, run mostly TRACAB.

When, or if, the Combined K-Zoo TRACON does happen I don't see any changes in airspace boundaries or type...yet.

I think the only change in airspace type would be if any of the TRSA towers would go to contract towers. I don't think the FAA is letting private corporations play approach control yet. There is, or was, only one contact facility that had a radar room, IIRC. Again, I may be wrong here but I think the contract towers have the same equipment and capabilities as FAA VFR towers. I'm sure someone will chime in and correct me  



"Build a mile of highway, go one mile. Build a mile of runway, go anywhere" -Bart Geisler, Director, Aviation Assoc. o
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