Airport Towers Data

The government has been using 30-year-old data on aircraft collisions to justify the cost of operating control towers at small airports, even though accident rates have improved significantly over that time.  It's probable that some low-traffic airport towers operated by private contractors no longer would have met the agency's criteria for funding had the Federal Aviation Administration used more current data. But the FAA has long been under pressure from members of Congress to open new towers at airports in their states, not close them.  The cost-benefit methodology developed by the FAA for the $140 million program relies on collision data from 1983 to 1986 to determine how many accidents would be averted and lives saved if an airport had controllers working onsite.

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