DOT IG ENDORSES FAA
NTSB ISSUES ‘MOST
WANTED’ SAFETY LIST
FAA contract towers continue
to provide safe air traffic control
services at a lower cost than similar
FAA-operated towers, DOT’s
Inspector General concluded in a
recently issued report.
Based on a review of 30 randomly
selected contract and 30 FAA towers
with a comparable level of operations,
a contract tower costs, on average,
about $1.5 million less to operate
than a similar FAA tower, the IG concluded. This difference was mainly
due to lower staffing and salary levels
at contract towers versus similar FAA
towers, the IG said.
Users remain strongly supportive
of FAA’s Contract Tower Program,
citing satisfaction with the quality
and safety of its services, according
to the report.
Contract towers experienced a
significantly lower number and
rate of safety incidents compared
with similar FAA-operated towers,
the IG said. For example, the 240
contract towers included in the IG’s
review had 197 safety incidents in
fiscal year 2010, compared with
362 at 92 similar FAA-operated
towers. FAA safety evaluations also
found fewer operational deficien-cies with contract towers in areas
such as improper radio communications by controllers.
The report said that the IG’s office is
making recommendations to improve
FAA’s internal controls and oversight
of contractual and safety aspects of
the contract tower program.
Spencer Dickerson, AAAE presi-
dent-meetings and international and
director of the U.S. Contract Tower
Association, a AAAE affiliate, com-
mented that, “Once again, the IG
has validated the safety benefits and
cost-effectiveness of FAA’s Contract
Tower Program. Between 1998 and
2003, the IG conducted four reviews
of the contract tower program and,
each time, endorsed its safety ben-
efits and the good value that it offers
the American public. Airports that
participate in this valuable program
are strong advocates of the safety
benefits it provides.”
FAA’s Contract Tower Program
now includes 251 towers. The full
IG report may be accessed at http://
The National Transportation Safety
Board has released its 2013 Most
Wanted List, with “Improve Safety
of Airport Surface Operations” and
“Improve General Aviation Safety”
as two of its top 10 issues.
Regarding airport surface
operations, the safety board
TAMPA’S TERMINAL PROJECT BEGINS NEXT PHASE
Tampa International in late 2012 began work on the second phase of its
$30 million Main Terminal Modernization Project, which is scheduled for
completion in October 2013.
Workers in the coming year will renovate the remainder of the terminal’s
restrooms, replace the carpeting on the ticketing level with a combination
of new carpeting and decorative tile, and install dynamic signage
throughout the terminal.
Phase two also includes new functional furniture on the transfer level with
added outlets and work surfaces. The walls surrounding the escalators will
be replaced with clear glass to give a brighter and more open feel to the
building. Further, the walls around the elevators throughout the terminal will
be resurfaced with colored glass, covering the original brick that has been in
place since the terminal was built.
Portions of the project on the ticketing and transfer levels will require
periodic closure of elevators, escalators and walkways to complete the work,
but the impact to airport users will be minimal, according to the airport.
Phase one of the project, which included renovations of half of the terminal’s
restrooms and the addition of visitor information centers and video walls in
the baggage claim area, was completed in late August 2012.