From: Spencer Dickerson, C.M.Senior Executive Vice President for Global Operations, AAAE/IAAE

We have very good news to report on contract tower funding for FY 2016!

As part of the massive federal government omnibus spending bill for FY 2016 announced late last night by congressional leaders, there is $154.4 million in guaranteed and full funding included for the FAA contract tower program.  Current indications are that both the House and Senate will pass the funding bill for the entire federal government later this week, including DOT/FAA, and then send to the President for signature.

The $154.4 million funding level is expected to (1) fund all current 253 contract towers, including the 16 towers in cost share program; (2) fully fund one new start tower in FY ’16, and (3) and provide catch-up funding for the U.S. Department of Labor mandated wage determinations that haven’t been done for several years.

NOTE:  While the omnibus anticipates the following funding levels for AIP, Contract Towers and other programs, the authorization for those programs currently runs through March 31, 2016.  It is our expectation that Congress will eventually extend those authorizations beyond March 31, either as part of another FAA extension or a multi-year reauthorization bill, but it is unclear at this point exactly how that will happen. In other words, the funding levels in the omnibus are aspirational at this point. Further action from will be required for full funding to materialize. We do not anticipate problems in that process, but will need to stay vigilant.

Many thanks to all of you have worked tirelessly with your congressional offices earlier this year on funding for the program!  You meetings, calls and emails clearly made a difference to achieve this record level of funding for the program.