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Old 03-25-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,178 posts, read 17,670,697 times
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2....

(Not sure about Direct line to Fire/Rescue , Not all Controlled airports have onside Fire/Rescue). Tower controller may be calling 911 just like any other caller.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:30 PM
 
596 posts, read 833,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
2....

(Not sure about Direct line to Fire/Rescue , Not all Controlled airports have onside Fire/Rescue). Tower controller may be calling 911 just like any other caller.

Every tower that I have ever been in had it. In any case, the tower will have a direct line to some emergency service, even if it's not on the field (any airport of any consequence will have it on the field). I don't know about anyone else, but if I was flying along and developed an emergency, I would rather communicate my situation to ATC and have them contact the right people as opposed to trying to control my aircraft while calling 911 and trying to explain my situation to Deputy Barney Fife.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,178 posts, read 17,670,697 times
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Yes, I would want to talk to ATC, not a 911 operator, who wants to play 20 questions.

Been on tours of Class D towers who have a 'Red' phone, but it did not autoconnect to fire dept (911) . All it was a Red TouchTone phone.

And during one tour the Clearance Delivery guy was on it taking to the FBO on the field, on the 'Red' phone.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Ontario, NY
2,821 posts, read 6,412,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
The problem with that statement is you have no idea how many collisions is has prevented.
I agree with this statement, towers generally are only installed in airports with heavier traffic, the more traffic the greater the chance something bad happening. It's only after a few planes crash that people will begin to think closing all these towers wasn't such a good idea after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longnecker View Post
It seems with budget cuts many smaller airports are losing funding to operate their airports.Pilots will be responsible to contact each other. If we can now do without them were they ever really needed?
This is only half the story anyway. Due to budget cuts we were told the FAA is going to shrink the size of the National Airspace System (NAS) it has to control. There more involved then the towers, navigation / radar / comm equipment in areas of the country that are not directly in the paths of major air corridors between the 77 "core" airports will no longer be repaired. Also repairs for equipment supported will be next business day, no more overtime to get a down facility operational quickly as possible.

This will lead to holes in radar coverage, in turn will force the Air Routing Traffic Control Centers to have greater separation between aircraft, to maintain safety, thus less aircraft volume in the sky. You also have to remember this is just the first year of the sequester, each year the cuts become bigger and bigger, by the tenth year, the "core" airports could be a lot less than 77.

Last edited by TechGromit; 03-25-2013 at 10:22 PM..
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,644 posts, read 17,885,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
... You also have to remember this is just the first year of the sequester, each year the cuts become bigger and bigger, by the tenth year, the "core" airports could be a lot less than 77.
Except that the sequester doesn't "cut" the budget at all. It simply reduces the amount it's increased. I can't get my head around all this cutting if we have the largest budget in history.

I honestly believe it's all a political game.

Your wife says you've got to cut your spending because there's not enough left for groceries. Instead of giving up your fishing trip or that new riding lawn mower you want, you say, "Okay, we'll cut gas expenses by not going to see your parents this week."

It really seems like they're intentionally trying to cut where we notice it the most.



Airports that really need tower operators but don't qualify can hire their own too. My county's airport has been hiring its own tower operators for 30 years or more.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:53 AM
 
203 posts, read 244,603 times
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The closing of towers will hurt some regional airlines and in turn major airlines for increased fuel costs and reduced alternate availability. BRO in Texas is a popular alternate airport for CRP, MFE, and LRD as well as for some cross border flights to and from Mexico as BRO has CBP. BRO Jepp charts require a tower be operational for all its approaches that are not an RNAV approach for it to be listed on a dispatch release as the alternate airport. Most airlines do not allow in their OPS SPECS for RNAV approaches to be used in determining alternate minimums so BRO becomes an illegal alternate as soon as the tower closes down. This is the case at other tower closings as well.

CLL in Texas is used by one of the largest regionals at IAH as a common alternate and it helps with the weight and balance for max landing weight and occasionally for max takeoff weight. That airport is probably another casualty as its Jepp charts say you need the tower operational for ILS 34 and LOC BC 16. 10/28 is a short runway so you would likely need to plan for circling minima from the VOR approaches which would make alternate mins very restrictive.

Hopefully, they can adjust these Jepp charts so passengers aren't bumped off regional flights for weight and balance. I know that if ExpressJet cant use CLL and must use SAT/AUS then many passengers will be bumped especially on the EP version of the EMB145. EFD is only good as a paper alternate and isn't really meant for actual diversions though on occasion it can handle them.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Ontario, NY
2,821 posts, read 6,412,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Except that the sequester doesn't "cut" the budget at all. It simply reduces the amount it's increased. I can't get my head around all this cutting if we have the largest budget in history.
It doesn't? The sequester IS cutting the FAA budget (and other government agencies budgets), it may not be cutting the overall Federal budget, because other areas of the entire Federal budget are increasing, like more people retiring and going on Social Security. Your sadly misinformed if you believe that the Federal agencies are not facing some tough decisions on what to cut.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:49 AM
 
11,254 posts, read 44,587,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
It doesn't? The sequester IS cutting the FAA budget (and other government agencies budgets), it may not be cutting the overall Federal budget, because other areas of the entire Federal budget are increasing, like more people retiring and going on Social Security. Your sadly misinformed if you believe that the Federal agencies are not facing some tough decisions on what to cut.
Sorry, Tech ... but you're the one that's "sadly misinformed".

The sequester ... which hadn't even gone into effect before drastic Fed action was taken in many agencies to make the effects as damaging as possible to the taxpayers/citizens of this country ....

doesn't actually "cut" any monies from any single Federal agency.

You apparently do not understand how "baseline" budgets work.

The sequester only reduced the amount of Fed increases in budgets. The actual amount of dollars being spent is still a net increase of money and in excess of inflationary rates from the prior budget year.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
2,384 posts, read 3,628,994 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk
It really seems like they're intentionally trying to cut where we notice it the most.
Actually, it's well documented that the FAA would like nothing better than to eliminate the people in the towers altogether. This just presents an opportunity to forward that agenda.


Good reading for anyone who's interested, is the series of blog posts at "Praxis Foundation."

The whole series is worth reading, but specific to the topic of this thread, this post is a good place to start:

Staffed Virtual Towers (SVT) | Praxis Foundation

And for those who are too busy, or too lazy, to read it all, here's a pretty pertinent quote:

Quote:

Here’s an official US government powerpoint from 2006, see pages 15 and 22. The money shot is on page 43, in the timeline for the year 2020:
Tower functions at all but high capacity airports are remoted (virtual towers)
● Terminal facilities are combined and reduced to 30-55 facilities
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Metropolis IL
1,655 posts, read 1,961,454 times
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Looking over the closure list, and with maybe a few exceptions, these towers contain the same characteristics. Most were commissioned in the early 1970's, prior to airline deregulation. In the regulated era, it was next to impossible for an airline to abandon service to smaller communities. In the early 1970's, the airlines were completing the transition to all jet fleets. So these small airports faced upgrading their facilities to handle jets. Part of that plan was to have an operational control tower. The commissioning of towers at these airports, had nothing to do with traffic volume, but the public perception that jets needed towers for safety.

Come deregulation, these airports lost their mainline airline service, but the towers remained. The PATCO strike in 1981, resulted in the closure of these towers, with the FAA having no intention of reopening them. But being most of these airports still had a couple of scheduled commuter flights a day, the locals rallied the political forces to reopen the towers. The FAA would not staff them, so it was determined that federal money would be budgeted to fund and operate them. This is either done through several ATC contracting firms, that hire and pay the controllers, or in some cases the local community employs the controllers similar to police and firefighters on the government payroll.

The majority of the affected controllers, are retired FAA and military controllers receiving pensions. These were gravy jobs, and were quite difficult to obtain. Once in, due to the simplicity and lack of traffic, it was not uncommon for individuals to stay in these jobs well into their 70's.

As for potential midair's, at most of these places, if the controller had more than 2 airplanes to talk to at the same time, it was unusual.

In the long scheme of things, the Air Traffic Controller will eventually go the way of the Navigator and Flight Engineer.
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