Subcontracting Issues of the Contract Tower Program
At the request of Senator Richard Shelby, ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation & Related Agencies Subcommittee, we evaluated the oversight of subcontract tower operations by FAA and its primary contractor to ensure that subcontracted towers are comparable in safety to FAA and contract towers. We found that subcontract towers are held to the same standards towers and receive the same level of oversight as other contract and FAA-operated. Nonetheless, since 17 of the 22 locations have operated under subcontracts for less than 1 year, we noted it is too early to assess the program’s potential long-term effects. We encouraged FAA to continue to closely monitor subcontract tower operations.