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Air Traffic Control Tower Operating Hour Reductions Expected

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically cut the number of flights in the U.S.  In response to this change, beginning early next week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to temporarily reduce the operating hours of approximately 100 air traffic control towers.

The FAA’s “Staffing to Traffic” initiative evaluated towers across the country and found that the total operational traffic count in the U. S. has declined 65% since the pandemic started.  As a result, about 100 air traffic control towers were identified whose hours could be reduced without impacting the integrity of the National Airspace System.  The airports and local congressional offices have been contacted and aviation organizations, such as NBAA, were offered an opportunity for input.

“Making these adjustments allows for continued safe operations throughout the National Airspace System while minimizing health risks to our workforce,” the FAA said in a statement.

The final list of towers identified for temporary reduced hours is expected to be released on April 24.

FAA Plans to Reduce Air Traffic Control Tower Hours; NBAA Evaluating Potential Operator Impact