About

Airport Control Towers At Risk

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How I Built This: CMS

I created this site in using Drupal and the following modules:

Importing Data

feeds
feeds_tamper
job_scheduler

Tables

views
views_bulk_operations
views_calc

Social Networking and SEO

metatag
facebook_comments
addthis
follow
facebook_pull
pathauto
google_analytics

Geolocation

addressfield
geofield
geolocation
geophp
geocoder

Layout

panelizer
panels
fieldable_panels_panes

Theme

poultry
shiny

General

auto_entitylabel
ctools
date
devel
diff
entity
entityreference
extlinks
honeypot
token
features
field_redirection
jquery_update
link
strongarm

I also wrote a module to create the feed at News that allows you to paste only a link into a node and have the rest of the node populated by information from the metadata of the linked page, similar to what happens when you paste a link into Facebook. That makes it easy to add news links without having to copy/paste a bunch of information from each link. I call it Link Scraper.

Background

The FAA has announced the closing of towers at 149 airports across the country. These are not the 149 smallest airports or the 149 with the lowest activity. My airport, Central Illinois Regional Airport, is on the list, and it has the highest passenger traffic of any airport in downstate Illinois. So why are we closing? Apparently, mostly because our tower is staffed by contract workers instead of FAA employees. No tower staffed by government employees is being closed, but 60% of the towers run by contractors are. That's not because the contract towers cost more. As a matter of fact, they cost the government significantly less. According to http://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/dot/files/FAA%20Federal%20Contract%20Tower%..., the contract towers cost "on average $1.5 million less to operate". So this is not the plan that would have saved the most money, that plan would have shut only airports run by government employees.

So why is my airport losing funding for it's control towers? You tell me. It's the busiest airport in downstate Illinois and based on that FAA document it must have cost the government significantly less to run than the government-run airports that were left alone.

This plan makes no sense. It will disrupt my life (I fly fairly frequently) along with the lives of thousands of people who use this airport. It will have a huge economic impact on my community, and it didn't accomplish the goal of cutting spending in any rational way.

I've pulled together some information about these airport closings with a page for each airport that is affected. I'm hoping to collect information about each of them and compare them to the airports that were untouched in an effort to understand what is going on and hopefully to reverse this bad decision.

Karen Stevenson