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The Federal Aviation Administration Should Not Shut Down Small Airport Air Traffic Control Towers

2612 words - 11 pages

Tyler Aversano
Research Paper
English Honors
June 4, 2014
The Federal Aviation Administration Should Not Shut Down Small Airport Air Traffic Control Towers

The Federal Aviation Administration was created August 23, 1958 to help increase air travel safety, as well as make a more efficient airspace (Mission). In the ten years after the Federal Aviation Administration started recording crashes, there were 183 crashes (Canavan). The crash percentage, the number of crashes divided by the number of flights, was .00125% (Accident and Incident Data). In the last ten years there were forty seven accidents and incidents (Canavan). The accident percent was roughly .000125% (Accident and Incident ...view middle of the document...

They manage the United States airspace by using Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCT) (Air Traffic 101).
Air Traffic Control Towers are buildings that are erected at airports to determine where aircraft are and where the best place for them to move next (What We Do). This creates a constant flow of information from the pilot to the controller and back to the pilot (Burke). The Air Traffic Control Towers play a major role in keeping aircraft at airports safe from collisions and crashes (Edwards). All federally employed Air Traffic Controllers are required to retire by age 56 (What We Do). The stress of the job leaves Air Traffic Controllers at a large risk for heart attacks (Bender).
The Federal Aviation Administration is a federally funded program The 2014 budget for the Federal Aviation Administration is roughly $15.4 billion. The median salary for an Air Traffic Controller in 2012 was $122,530 (Resumes Ready?). Ten Percent of Air Traffic Controllers were payed over $171,340. The lowest ten percent were under $64,930(Resumes Ready?). with such a large gap in, it creates competition to do the best work. The more the competition, the safer the airways (Resumes Ready?).
Federal budget cuts will reduce the budget by $4.2 billion (Bill Plans Dramatic Cuts To Federal Aviation Administration Budget). The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to find areas to cut spending in order to make the budget. The Federal Aviation Administration decided that they were going to take a large portion of the budget cuts and take the money from the Air Traffic Control Tower Program (Bill Plans Dramatic Cuts To Federal Aviation Administration Budget). The other largest group of the budget cuts is employees taking furlough days. A furlough is a temporary leave of absence to meet certain needs of the group. The furloughs will affect 50,000 employees. The furloughs would save rough $200 million (Bill Plans Dramatic Cuts To Federal Aviation Administration Budget). The other cuts will be split up between all of the other programs (Bill Plans Dramatic Cuts To Federal Aviation Administration Budget).
Some Air Traffic Control Towers are contracted out to private companies (Air Traffic). These companies run the Air Traffic Control Towers just like government employees would, but much more cheaply and efficiently (The Beginning of Air Traffic Control). Air Traffic Controllers that work for private companies make a median of $60,000-$65,000. This is much lower than a federally funded Air Traffic Control Tower. Employee salaries are the largest cost to the Air Traffic Control Tower budget. This allows contracted Air Traffic Control Towers to spend much less money to run and operate. The United States government could save a lot of money by simple contracting all of the Air Traffic Control Towers.
Airport safety is one of the Federal Aviation Administration's biggest concerns. They are tasked with tracking over 10,400,000 commercial flights every year, not including military and...

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