The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today resumed accepting applications to the FAA Contract Tower (FCT) program, as called for under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Contract towers are air traffic control towers that are staffed by employees of private companies rather than by FAA employees.
Like most federal investments, the agency is required to perform a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) on each contract tower to determine whether or not it is eligible for participation in the FCT program. In order to be admitted into the FCT program, the safety and efficiency benefits of a tower must exceed its costs. The FAA will calculate an official benefit-cost ratio associated with each applicant, and the types of volume and activity that it supports. The agency’s BCA calculations comply with congressional direction on specific changes to costs and benefits in the model. The processing of each application is expected to take at least three months.
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There are currently 256 contract towers in the FCT program. Airports interested in applying should contact the Program Implementation Manager (PIM) in their service center.