Cutting control towers will make airspace less safe, reduce air traffic, harm the economy

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 31, 2013 12:00 a.m.

    Does anyone else find it irony to see probably a whole bunch of Republicans whining about cuts to air traffic controllers when Reagan fired thousands of them.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    The cuts are just beginning. the tea party wants ten times more.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 29, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Kearns, UT
    "Honestly. When you folks talk about wanting to cut the Federal budget, where did you think the money was going to get cut from?"

    Well it would be too much to ask to cut really stupid programs like Obamaphones or Obamacare because the president likes the names of those programs, or to simplify the tax code and cut 25% of the IRS, or to cut medical research grants even though they only yield outrageous priced treatments that don't work any better than most of the old standard treatments, they just cost more so the drug companies and medical equipment manufacturers glut themselves on the money of the sick and the taxpayers. Heaven forbid capable adults have their welfare or unemployment reduced, or we quit paying people to not work for 2 years. And please, don't cut the Head Start Program, it needs more money because it isn't doing any good now.

    With Obama in the white house, I expected the cuts to be purely political pawns, just like they are.

    "You made me cut spending, so I will make it as awful as I can," says the king.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    I'm a pilot and I have landed at a number of airports in Utah over the last twenty years. I remember Provo before they finally got a tower in 2005. It was a dangerous airport. It has grown considerably and I would be very concerned about operating there with air traffic control.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    Unfortunately, Switcheroo is right. But perhaps a lot of it has to do with the cost of flying nowdays. After 9/11, Dick Cheney and others were convinced that someone was going to load an atom bomb into a J-3 and fly it into a building. Insurance costs skyrocketed and everything else followed.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    Actually, there are some places where localities do fund their own control towers. The controllers are paid by the city or county or whatever, but are FAA trained and certified. It works very well.

    But that would mean that Ogden and Provo would be forced to put their money where their mouths are. Can that happen in Utah?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 28, 2013 6:18 p.m.


    @Steve Cottrell.... these people love local control, it is the local funding they are NOT so in love with.

    my bad... ; (

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    March 28, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    It's really a loosing battle. The pilot population is aging, teenagers don't even care if the get their driver's licenses any more let alone the rigors and expense of a pilot's certificate.

    General aviation is shrinking, most of our airports don't have enough traffic to need a tower so there's no need. By not having the towers manned at slower airports they can concentrate on the airports that need more controllers.

    Personally I liked my local airport better without the tower. I don't like having to ask permission to take off.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 28, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    @Steve Cottrell.... these people love local control, it is the local funding they are so in love with.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    March 28, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    With less air traffic, wouldn't safety actually go up? We always hear how crowded the skies are. If pilots already have a procedure for take offs and landings without a tower, than I am not sure what the problem is. I do like Steve Cottrell's idea of locally trained controllers, but I am sure the FAA has some rule about it, since they wouldn't want to give up control.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Could local airports train and fund their own traffic controllers? Just a question. Utahans who so strongly support local control might consider such an action.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    March 28, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    To bodgerdlue:

    Reliever airports are critical and integral to the safe operation of SLC International. Without them ALL air traffic would be sent to SLC seriously compromising the safety of operations there. The students at Provo would be forced into Class A operations at SLC as would the sail plane pilots at Heber or Cedar Valley. Commercial or private pilots in rural towns would have to land in SLC and find transportation to these outlying areas.

    And heaven forbid that I have an emergency and not have a reliable runway somewhere nearby I could safely put down on instead of a rare open field or vacant roadway with utility wires strung across it. Or would you have us compete with the military at HAFB or the big operators at SLC?

    Towered or not, reliever or secondary airports are essential. SLC would not be able to handle all the traffic if it were centralized only there. You, obviously, are not a pilot and have no concept of the ramifications of your suggestion.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    ‘Cutting control towers will make airspace less safe, reduce air traffic, harm the economy’


    Yes, when a person, a family a state or a nation spends like there is no tomorrow on things they don't really need, the day does come when they can't afford the things they do really need.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Although it will require more alertness and care from pilots, we can get along fine without towers at Provo, Ogden and other smaller airports. We already have procedures in place. In fact, the Ogden tower is open only from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on any day. By using a common traffic advisory frequency, called UNICOM, pilots fly established traffic patterns and advise other pilots of our positions and intentions.

    The one thing that worries me a bit at Ogden is the interface between military traffic in and out of Hill and traffic using Ogden's Hinckley airport. It was comforting having the controllers keep us advised. But if no one busts the altitude limits, we'll be okay.

  • bodgerdlue Kearns, UT
    March 28, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    Honestly. When you folks talk about wanting to cut the Federal budget, where did you think the money was going to get cut from? When you cut the budget real programs, real jobs, and real people are affected.

    And as to the question about the political motivations of the cuts- did you think they were going to cut air traffic controller jobs from LAX or JFK so that Provo and Ogden could keep their air traffic controllers? Why do we even need these airports when you have Salt Lake International right in between the two? The same goes for many of these rural airports. Just because you're in a Republican district, why do we need to keep these tiny airports afloat?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 28, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    Talking about cutting the budget is easy..... it's the doing that is a bit more complicated.

    To the one rep. who thinks this is being done on political lines, well... yes, they probably are. Conservative districts by in large are represented by rural districts. Urban district are largely more liberal leaning. Air traffic will have higher densities in urban cooridors... and have lessor densities in rural cooridors. It just so happens to align politically as well. Sorry... it is what it is.

    Let the cutting begin.