Critics have questioned whether the program is still needed. The FAA has acknowledged using 30-year-old data on aircraft collisions to justify the cost of operating many of the control towers, even though accident rates have improved significantly over that time.
In addition to keeping the contractor-operated towers open, the FAA said earlier this week that it intends to continue to staff control towers at 72 busier airports overnight. The agency had initially planned to eliminate midnight shifts of controllers at those airports to save money.
Federal Aviation Administration: http://www.faa.gov/news/media/fct_closed.pdf
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