AOPA and eight other aviation organizations have signed a letter urging the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee to support a funding level of not less than $170 million for the Contract Tower Program in the fiscal 2020 appropriations bill.
The program enjoys strong bipartisan support and has provided essential, cost-effective air traffic safety services for more than 30 years, with 256 smaller airports in 46 states now participating, said the letter to committee Chairwoman Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.). A similar letter was sent to other appropriations committee leaders in Congress.
In addition to contributing to the functioning of the national air transportation system, the Contract Tower Program plays a key role in disaster relief, law enforcement, emergency medical operations, economic development, and military readiness and security.
“The bottom line is that absent this highly successful government/industry partnership, many local communities and smaller airports would not receive the significant safety benefits of ATC service,” the letter said.
In addition to AOPA, the letter was also signed by the U.S. Contract Tower Association, Regional Airline Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, Airports Council International–North America, National Association of State Aviation Officials, Air Traffic Control Association, and Cargo Airline Association.