AOPA’s criticism about the disproportionate impact on General Aviation is apt, but even more relevantly the massive cut of the contract towers appears to violate the OMB interpretation of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011). The Administrator testified then that the FAA received instructions to reduce the budget equally across all programs, projects and activity without any subsequent transfer of funds among the other accounts.
To cut the Tower Program disproportionately (well in excess of the macro 5% cut) not only contravenes the across-the-board programs, projects and activity rule, but also cannot free up funds for another program. This reduction makes no safety sense and attacks a program which the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector has found to be more efficient than the federally managed facilities.
It does appear to meet a rule of maximizing the pain inflicted on one of aviation’s most politically powerful organizations. This well-known tactic has a name: The “Washington Monument” ploy. Hopefully such a cynical view is incorrect, but it sure looks like the FAA has caused AOPA to lobby the Hill on Sequestration by locking the towers used solely by that organization’s members.Share this article: