Congressman Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI) response to the FAA’s announcement to move forward with the closure of Contract Towers as part of sequestration cuts: 

“I am concerned about the FAA’s announcement that 149 federal Contract Towers will be shut down as a result of sequestration, including all eight in Wisconsin.  There are fewer safety incidents at Contract Towers than at comparable FAA-staffed towers, and Contract Towers cost an average of $1.5 million less per year. The FAA budget is being cut by five percent, while the FAA is cutting contract towers by 75 percent. 

“The bottom line is Contract Towers are safer and save money.  The FAA must reevaluate its decision, and the White House must put an end to its political charade. On March 14, several of my colleagues and I sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta questioning these closures despite considerable wasteful spending at FAA.  I intend to send a follow-up letter inquiring how much taxpayer money is being spent on the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which funnels money to remote airports, like the one in Saipan, while towers around the country are being shut down.  I also intend to investigate the role public unions played in this decision.”