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GOP wants more private air traffic control towers

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The Federal Aviation Administration could save money by contracting out more of its air traffic control towers, Republicans argued Wednesday. (thehill.com) 기타...

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rickythepilot
"The IG determined that the average contract tower costs roughly $1.5 million less to operate than a comparable FAA tower — due largely to lower staffing and salary levels."

A lot of airports already have one controller handling all the frequencies creating a safety hazard and now these for profit companies are trying to reduce staff and salary. Right, because that's how you fix the system by cutting staff and lowering pay. o_O
slc7811
What about remote towers, like Saab was designing? Several small airports could be managed through HD camera's. No more stairs for the controllers to walk up......
joelwiley
Has anyone commenting here bothered to read anything more that the OP?

Breifing Doc1

http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/Media/file/112th/Aviation/Aviaton%20Briefing%20Memo%20%20%207-18-12.pdf

or
http://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/dot/files/Contract%20Tower%20Hearing%20Statement%5E7-18-12.pdf
jetlagged
The FAA is bad enough, but there's nothing worse than these privatized towers. They hire circus clowns who are ex-military, arrogant, and incompetent. We'd be better off with no tower than these non-federal excuses for service.
rad2
So, basically, it is all about people, salaries, pensions and termination payments. What about equipment upgrades and maintenance, facility upgrades, work rules when things go haywire ( like what happened on 9/11 ) and all the other things that make up the cost of operating the airways? There is much more to this than what the article addresses.
mpradel
Quote: “The [DOT inspector general] determined that contract towers had a lower number and rate of reported safety incidents than similar FAA towers"

Duh, they care about keeping their jobs & contracts!
Spectrums
Well, when they work an 1/8th of the traffic as a regular FAA Tower, no wonder it's lower.
JJ7
It's the Republican way. Contract out and make their buddies rich while screwing the working man. Pay lower salaries without benefits while the 'Contractor" buys a new beach house, gets a new mistress and a few more boxes of Cuban cigars along with their new country club membership. The lower number of incidents is just propaganda to satisfy their zeal to get rid of Government workers and make more money. It's all BS and lies. Soon America will have the peasant class outside the moat and the rich inside the castle with no middle class that made this country great. It's coming. Piece by piece. Until we storm the castle and tar and feather the one percent.
MrAflac9916
Mr Aflac 7
Absolutely true. They say by 2030 China's economy will be better and the average person will be wealthier. It's not China getting better its our politics getting worse.
bishops90
And that is precisely because China has a more business friendly, capitalistic attitude than the current rezident of the White House.
99NY
99NY 9
If by that you mean they engage in ruthless censorship and could give a flying feck about the enormous environmental damage they are doing to their country and people then yes, they are more friendly. Slave labor and zero environmental laws make for lots of profit.
bishops90
I never said I agree with everything in the Chinese system. Only pointing out that after decades of living under the syatem we are HEADING TOWARD they realized it didn't work and that capitalism is the way to prosperity.
toddlit
toddlit 3
You're welcome to move to that great "business friendly and capitalist" society Brian. If paying your workers pennies for a days work is the model you really wish America would adopt, why waste your time here? You can enjoy that capitalist paradise now!

[This comment was deleted.]

toddlit
toddlit 8
The America you are fighting for is the beginning of a third-world country.
toddlit
toddlit 3
Everybody working for whatever little scraps their bosses are willing to throw them. Exactly when in our history was that what our soldiers were fighting for?
bishops90
Pathetic. Not waisting my breath.
Mmossman
You are pathetic and thanks for saving that breath.

Capitalism-as-religion means nothing for people unless the standard of living of all of us is part of the equation. Privatization of prisons, schools, military services all have at least as questionable records as public contracts. At least public contracts come with a living wage and some oversight.

There are plenty of Chinese here in New York. They moved here for some reason.
devsfan
For the past whatever number of years, we have placed our trust in government to get it right and do that within budget and on time. Government still shows incompetence in most areas. Time for someone else to get a chance.
I believe in the private sector.
And please, stop with the "labor is God" nonsense.
The fact is most union members are overpaid and under worked. Especially public sector union workers.
w7psk
And Im sure you feel the D side is all warm and fuzzy and represent the people and if only those EVIL Rs would leave this world would be Nervana, eden and Woodstock all rolled up into one.

HINT: Neither side Gives a rats patootie for the common people.
bobhirst
Ricky, it is not that the Ds are SO much better, it is the pure selfishness that the Rs are demonstrating. Don't want to pay taxes, don't like what I'm doing so they MUST stop me, hate my religion if it isn't theirs, call people names...enough.
grinch59
I think we should go along with Rep. Petri's suggestion and privatize all presently controlled airports within a minimum 25-30 mile radius of DCA. Then let's see how long before Sen. Petri requests greater efficiency since planes are stacked up and delayed hours in holding patterns.
bishops90
And why would this be? More than likely the same controllers would remain in place, only working for a non-government entity (the good ones anyway). Do you have anything other than your prejudiced opinion to support your claim of delays?
grinch59
Common sense since you apparently didn't analyze the overall problem! Do you think the present controllers will stay on for lower wages, little or no benefits or take early retirements. Let's say only 50% take early retirement. That leaves 50% of the positions to fill with new personnel or ones you are going to bring in from smaller traffic airports. Doesn't that take a little retraining under less than ideal situations???
bishops90
Still, mere speculation on your part.
grinch59
Then read the history of President Reagan's firing of the controllers in 1981. It took nearly 10 years to bring staffing levels back to normal, and only because President Clinton interceded and rehired "black balled" controllers. Apparently you don't believe in history either!
sstuff
sstuff 3
I knew PATCO’s president at the time. Perhaps PATCO thought it could get away with their illegal strike because they supported President Regan in his presidential bid.

President Clinton re-hired *some* of the illegal strikers, but the large majority were not re-hired.
grinch59
You are correct. President Clinton only rehired 800 of the fired 13,000 controllers However, my point is, this finally brought staffing levels back to normal after 10 years.
sstuff
sstuff 1
Point taken.

Now: who, or what entity, defines "normal?"
bobhirst
It was a lot of years later. Some guys were probably too old to go back. The plain fact is that Rs don't give a hoot about anything...if they can get it on someone else's back.
9999
Kevin Vrem -3
Bull. Some FAA controllers make over 100K at small airports with plenty of benefits too. The contract towers can do the same job just as safely without fleecing taxpayers.
toddlit
toddlit 2
How dare they make over 100k!!! They should be working for a shit wage like the rest of us!!! And god knows contractors NEVER fleece the taxpayers...
bishops90
Why dont we just make the minimum wage $100k? That way everybody would be rich, right?
bobhirst
Yes, actually. We could all work for a decent wage, pay our taxes, buy stuff and not have to subsidize WalMart's employees with Food Stamps just so they can eat.

In Denmark, the average wage IS 100K, half of which goes to taxes. They have: free healthcare, unemployment insurance, extended education and no need for half of the hidden subsidies we have shot through our economy. Oh, and they do have a military but it fights only when attacked and they don't buy useless crap like the F22.

[This comment was deleted.]

bishops90
Supply and demand, market prices, basic econimics which you obviously know nothing about. Your ignorance is showing glaringly
devsfan
Six figure wages for public sector employees are absurd.
The pensions are absurd. The banking of vacation and sick time is absurd.
US Taxpayers are paying four times the number of people working to government retirees.
We are getting fleeced having to pay people to NOT work.
Much of government work can be outsourced to the private sector. The cost to use private sector is far lower than that of full time government employees.
bishops90
I suppose the Post Office is your idea if a well run government service?
bobhirst
Yes. Try getting a letter sent via FEDEX for less than half a buck. And they go to every address in the country. Ever try to send a UPS package out on a Saturday from their premises?...or get it picked up.
grinch59
No it's not, and you know why? They are identified in the Constitution to be one of the few entities created and funded/supported by the government. However, all I see is criticism about inefficiency! Let us look at the reasons.

All the people in Congress get free postage, plus the private corporations who support the mostly Republican legislators with donations at election time make sure they get low mailing rates for magazines and other SPAM. To touch those rates is Sacrilegious. Let them start paying the same rate ounce as we do and I won't bitch any further about inequities in the Post Office system. Sound familiar with regards to taxes!!
kw77
I have had no trouble with the Post Office. Mail I send sometimes arrives the next day, 100 miles away. Just try and avoid peak hours to avoid a line.
sstuff
sstuff -4
“ . . . the peasant class . . . the rich . . . the middle class . . . the one percent . . . .”

Someone is watching too much Marxist television.
toddlit
toddlit 3
Someone else is watching too much fascist propaganda...
bishops90
Your comment indicates that yoi have no understaof Fascism, as it and Marxism are not that far apart.
toddlit
toddlit -1
Your right. the extreme left wing of the political spectrum is completely the same as the extreme right wing... How could I be so wrong.
bishops90
Fascism is not "right wing" it's barely right of Marx. Get some education son.
Boatinman
Boatinman -4
Wow man. Don't you have some welfare checks to cash or something? Quit spewing hate.
ftldave
How long until the GOP advocates outsourcing the Army, Air Force, and Navy? Oh yeah, they kind of tried that on a small scale with Blackwater, didn't they? Didn't work out, did it? Perhaps everything in this world doesn't really need to be managed like a get-rich-quick scam.
bmoore1
Shows how little you know; Blackwater didn't have a military mission nor did they assume any missions for any portion of the DOD they are a private security company. That was the missions they had in Theater.
bobhirst
Robert, they were an undisciplined rabble that killed indiscriminately, and a bunch of them got 'hung out to dry' as a result. Privatizing is never a good idea when government can do the job. I kind of like knowing that the guys running the mic know what they're doing, that they have book and they are paid enough to use it.
jhakunti
if the government wants to save money, cutting ATC from the government budget is not the way to go. Long term will spend more money. Who were the people bitching when NASA was cut down in the budget? I mean FAA/ATC seems more vital.

End afghanistan, war on drugs, and stop filling for profit prisons with tax payers money. That would be a start. If we still need to cut more then look at ATC. But for goodness sake, any serious conversation regarding budgets need to begin and/or include the heaviest burdens on said budget.
notaperfectpilot
add free health care to that cut list and you might have A LOT more money.
125rmodel
I am an Air Traffic Controller and at an en route center and I am for privatizing the whole administration, I like to cut the fat off the agency.
bmoore1
i fly and manage an FBO we have two airports within 20 miles of each other; one has an FAA tower the other a contract tower. Contract tower handles more traffic; has better equipment, and from the Pilots prespective they do a better job. No write up vs four this year for the FAA tower.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
KFSM has had a contract tower for years. It has had an Air Guard wing all that time, probably a dozen or so commercial flights, and untold GA & transient stuff daily. During Clintons term Air Force One was in/out of there, bringing him and Hillary in for a friend's wedding. Never had no problems there. Contract towers are not bound by some of the silly work rules that gov't. FAA towers(union) are bound by. If the training and performance requirement is there, then what is the problem. Much was mentioned about the PATCO stike and the 10 years to restaff and what retirements privatizing would cause. Those folks are going to retire anyway, maybe a little sooner, but still yet be retiring. Get Over It.
WALLACE24
Had 2 friends lost their jobs on the tower at BNA. They realized they were lead down a bad road by their own leader. He told them he had assurances from the pres. Lie. He backed Reagan in a corner and lost Duh!
stevestrickland
Good morning all! Yesterday around 12:15 in the afternoon, a solid white 757 landed at KILM (Wilmington NC) number 09001, one person exited the plane and I lost track of where he went. Could not find much about this aircraft or flight. Any ideas from the group? Steve in NC
RayStratton
My local tower went from 15 FAA government controllers to 5 private contractor controllers. Same hours, same service. More funds for equipment upgrades.

Its like shopping at Walmart. If you can get the same for less, why spend more. Esp when its my tax dollars. The Gov't is not a jobs program.

Profit is not a sin, it drives efficiency.
bishops90
Trying to educate liberals is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.
preacher1
Tell 'em 'bout it son!!!!lol I seen a deal on Facebook the other day that said " Liberals say they always welcome other opinions but then get offended when they find out that THERE ARE OTHER OPINIONS. Save your breath man. I have read this whole comment string up above and the one you make here probably says it all.LOL

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
Well, the way my Bible(KJV) reads, in the sense of what the word liberal really means, He was, in that he really turned things upside down but he did it by fulfilling God's Word in the way that God meant for it to be, rather than how man thought it ought to be. Our problem today as I see it is that most folks today that get identified as liberals are not standing for the word of God in relation to several major issues, and that is where the rub comes in. Sad part is, a lot of folks on the other side of the fence that class themselves as CHRISTIAN or CONSERVATIVE are not espousing the Word of God either.And for wat it's worth, I like my Guns and my Bible.
WALLACE24
Those that don't have guns will wish they did some day. Those that believe in nothing will wind up disappointed in the end. Everyone reaches the end very quickly.
Boatinman
Yeah I bet he's one of those hick republicans clinging to his guns and his bible right? Give me a break man, seriously. Some people have different beliefs than you.
DTWND
The National Airspace System is for the benefit of all citizens. The safety and security of that system is first and foremost the main concern of these same citizens. These principles should be ensured by a United States Government entity (FAA). The main purpose of privitization of the NAS is to cut costs. It is done by reducing the number of people. The FAA is charged with oversight of these privatized towers at a fixed prie per tower. The number of controller errors and pilot violations reported by the private towers is lower because if the actual number WAS higher, the private contractors would have to employ more people, thereby cutting into the company's profit margin. It all boils down to either a thinner margin of safety for the public or thinner profits for the contractor. So which one benefits the citzenry more? I would choose government operation of the NAS over a private company.
btweston
btweston 0
Of course they do. And private police forces, private prisons, and anything that else that will allow human lives to be controlled by whoever controls the largest billfold.

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