FAA To Adjust Hours of Operation at Some Control Towers

The agency has provided a current list of affected facilities.

Most of the control towers affected by the reduction in hours are located at primarily GA airports.Rob Mark

Some 100 FAA control towers around the US will soon have their operational hours temporarily culled due to significant COVID-19-based reductions in local air traffic. The agency said in a news release, “Making these adjustments allows for continued safe operations throughout the national airspace system while minimizing health risks to our workforce.” The control towers affected are located at airports with primarily GA operations.

The FAA plans to make the majority of closures during the nighttime hours to minimize traffic disruptions. “Adjusting the operating hours will…reduce the possibility of temporary tower closures from COVID-19 exposures by ensuring enough controllers are available to staff the facilities during peak hours. It also will enable us to allocate difficult-to-source supplies where they are most needed.” In Casper, Wyoming, for instance, tower hours there have been cut in half according to the Casper Star Tribune. As to how long the cuts will be in effect, the agency responded in the release with, “As operational traffic counts and our resource factors associated with COVID-19 change, the FAA will make appropriate adjustments consistent with the agency’s mandate to operate the NAS safely and efficiently.” The changes are expected to take effect on Monday, May 4.