Expected Small Airports’ Tower Closures Raising Safety, Insurance Concerns

By Anna Louie Sussman | March 19, 2013

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    ExciteBiker says:
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    The Pentagon’s budget is well over $1 trillion. We apparently have the money to lose billions of dollars in cash in Iraq outright (as in, it disappeared and no one knows what happened to it). We have many billions that we dumped into failed Iraq infrastructure. We give countries like Pakistan billions in annual aid. Our aircraft carrier fleet cost $7 trillion to build, deploy and maintain over the years. We keep pursuing a hopelessly complex and failed strike fighter jet. We build billions of dollars of military gear that the military itself says it doesn’t need. Our future financial obligation to veterans (pensions, health benefits etc) because of this never-ending War on Noun is untold and likely rivals Medicare.

    Why is the discussion ALWAYS about cutting air traffic controllers, or those “greedy” teachers, or those awful blue collar union “liberals” whose soot and grease-soaked hands must be responsible for the global recession? And why is it NEVER about the untold billions and trillions of dollars spent annually in furtherance of Wars on Nouns (like ‘communism’–>’terrorism’ and ‘alcohol’–>’drugs’)?

    Can’t we build like ONE less expensive plane and pay for all these aircraft controllers forever?

    • March 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm
      Cheetoh Mulligan says:
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      We need our Military. What we don’t need is a bigger government. Start cutting the government, including staff for politicians. They have way too many staff members, and way too many dumb programs.

    • March 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm
      Dave says:
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      “The Pentagon’s budget is well over $1 trillion.”

      This is an out and out lie. How many other times have you lied on this thread?


      The Defense budget is only $672,900,000,000 well under a trillion. You over-estimated the the defense budget by a factor of 2.

      The biggest drivers liar are:
      Department of Health & Human Services – $940.9 billion and
      Social Security – $882.7 billion.

      • March 20, 2013 at 9:38 am
        Agent says:
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        Well said Dave. Excite has been reading a little too much Huffington Post or Media Matters and spouts off his liberal nonsense. The facts are that $2.7 Trillion is being taken in which is an all time high and government is spending $1+Trillion more than that and the lion’s share is entitlements and goofy social programs that are duplicated by all the departments and agencies. Quite a scam if I do say so. We should have had a spending freeze at 2009 levels and the budget would be balanced in a short time.

      • March 20, 2013 at 11:19 am
        LiveFree says:
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        Funny how mention of cuts to military spending turns the tables instantly for repubs when it comes to cutting govt spending. I have to say you are correct Dave that thoes are the biggest and worst offenders (Dept. of Health & Social Security) and should be cut first but Excite does still make a good point regardless of his numbers being off. The cost of wars and military spending are rediculously high and “The War on Nouns”, as he calls them, are also jokes and a gigantic waste of money putting people behind bars for victimless crimes.

        This control tower threat, is just that, a threat. And it will be political suicide if we call their bluff and they go through with it. It is all just an attempt to rally the people to be against this sequestration. The govt can’t even reduce the rate of increase of their spending. It is scary and makes economic situations like Greece and Cyprus look more like a eventual possibilty here in USA.

        • March 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm
          bob says:
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          A quick added note that I am not sure you are aware of:

          The defense spending issue is not just a republican one. The DOD was still 902 billion last year. It certainly hasn’t gone down. Harry Reid just had a meeting in which he was saying we would not be able to defend ourself (people would die basically) if we didn’t stop the sequestor.

          The democrats have also left the military cutting off the block, to keep moderate democrats who are either in the military or support heavy military spending.

          Boehner is acting like a poster child too of course. Everyone is trying to appease everyone right now.

          It’s really annoying. Stop trying to buy votes and start trying to do a job! >:/

      • March 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm
        bob says:
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        I myself have mocked the military spending. Excite is roughly accurate on his numbers. I do agree we have areas we need to cut and I think defense should definitely be on the block,


        This is a very reliable site for these numbers. 2012: 902.2 billion. I personally think we should lower this considerably. In 2002 it was only roughly 400 billion. I’m very surprised Obama did not bring it down. This should not have doubled over the last 10 years. We should be spending $600 tops. That’s $300 billion off the deficit so it’s not small. Though I am republican, I am in favor of cutting the military.

        Pensions and Healthcare were $500 billion and $425 respectively in 2002. They are now $820 and $845. These have also doubled and I don’t feel they should have. Welfare was $230 and is now $440. We should be able to trim $100 billion in Welfare, $300 billion in war spending, remove the QE and Twist spending, ($85 billion per month 1.020 trillion per year) and end up with a surplus.

        The democrats keep saying we have a taxing problem…We have a spending problem. We should be spending what we did as a percentage of GDP back in 1995 when the republicans worked with Clinton to get everything under control. We didn’t die then. We won’t die now with sequestration.

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    SmokeytheBear says:
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    There comes a time when no president can escape leading despite his best efforts to try. Tax Receipts in the US are at an all time high. Yet depite record new revenue, we are continuing to borrow $50,000/second to keep Govt afloat. There is no way that 1% cut ($44Billion in 2013) in a $3.7 Trillion Dollar budget should be of any true consequence. And Congress was and is willing to give the President broad authority as to where this 1% cut takes place. Unfortunately, the President doesn’t want that reponsibility. Instead, he prefers to allow this minor cut to have the most damaging effect he possibly can exert. From closing the White House to school children to this. Your point on military spending is well taken. However, first and foremost we need a leader that understands the long term damage that is being caused by our skyrocketting debt and who will bring the parties together and find reasonable solutions. Not someone who is intent on harming Americans when not a single person or institution need be harmed at all.

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    Joe says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    You own your own plane or jet – pay for these services out of your own pocket. 100% user fee supported – or if the local municipality feels they cannot do without their private airport pay for it out of the local tax base. Why should the average person’s tax $ go to support your lifestyle.

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    Boca Condo King says:
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    For the record, Aviation fuel is taxed (heavily) by the Federal and those funds are more than suffienent to offset the cost of air traffic control.

    Just as your auto gas is taxed to pay for infrastructure such as roads etc.

    Of course, your gas tax money is diverted to other things, so is aviation fuel tax money….

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    Agent says:
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    It is obvious to me that the priorities our government is seriously lacking. These measley Sequester cuts are not a cut at all. We did not cut anything, only slowed the rate of growth. We hear that they are cutting USDA inspectors for our meat and vegetables and then they fund advertising in Mexico to teach those illegals how to apply for food stamps when they cross over. What is wrong with this picture?

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    Original Bob says:
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    Kinda puzzled at this statement. “We’re not going to do anything that isn’t safe,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a congressional hearing last month.
    If we can cut them without sacrificing safety why did we have them in the first place? To protect the alligators?

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    Huh! says:
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    Of course closing the towers will compromise the safety of the airports — and the planes, runways, pilots, passengers and I suppose even the alligators. The FAA’s comment that the closure won’t affect safety is inane. If the government wants to cut spending, let it start with the President and Congress.

  • March 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm
    InsGuy says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    1. Turn off the direct deposit for White House, Capitol Hill and Judiciary. (also turn of the power – they don’t do anything anyway, so why would they need lights?)
    2. Turn off medical benefits for same. (they’ll be able to get affordable coverage through an exchange in a few months, yes?)
    3. Turn off pension funding for same
    4. Close the “Secret Service” services. (If they have a problem, they can call their local PD and stand in line with the rest of us)
    5. Turn off the personal Travel Service hub of the Air Force for their travel arrangements. (I’m sure American will accomodate them – but only if there is clear weather world-wide & a $50 dignitary fee)

    Well, there’s $600 Billion, any other ideas?

  • March 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm
    Hugo Francisco Caycedo says:
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    Not many words about it. Seems to be curios how a pilot can evade an alligator just in the moment the plane is landing, a plane is not a kind of car.

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