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The

Honorable Ray LaHood Secretary of Transportation United States Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20590 Administrator Michael Huerta Federal Aviation Administration 800 Independence Ave. SW Room 1010 Washington, DC 20591 May 3, 2013 We are seeking information concerning the process by which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considered the impact of Federal Contract Tower closures on national security and the operations of nearby military installations. On February 26, 2013, the FAA requested that each military service determine whether and to what extent these tower closures would impact mission operations. In response to this request, the service branches and the Department of Defense (DOD) reviewed each proposed closing and delivered a report detailing such impacts. This report was transmitted to the Department of Transportation (DOT) on March 21, 2013. Senator Mike Lees office contacted DOD and FAA officials on April 1, 2013 regarding the impact of tower closure at Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD) on operations at Hill Air Force Base (HIF), a major Air Force base and Air Logistics Complex less than four miles south of OGD. The FAA informed Senator Lees office that DOD reviewed all 189 contract towers under consideration and provided no feedback on the tower closure at OGD. On April 18, 2013, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta confirmed to members of the Senate Commerce Committee that DOD had been consulted on all 189 towers and that every DOD priority tower would be kept open. Recently, it has come to our attention that DOD identified in their report to DOT and FAA 38 towers whose closures would result in a severe impact to operations. This list of severe impact rated towers included Ogden-Hinckley Airport. Regarding the closure of the OGD tower, DOD stated: ACC flying operations will revert to uncontrolled airfield criteria or cease all together. AF/MAJCOM Guidance TBD. Workload can not be absorbed by the home station due to pattern saturation. Could cause backlog in AETC training, directly impacting pilot production.

Closure of this facility will increase the workload on the USAF RAPCON at a time when the AF is also experiencing civilian controller furlough. Sequestration, along with normal absences and deployments, will result in additional restrictions to USAF facilities operations and may not be able to support the additional workload. Of these 38 towers, the FAA only removed the 10 highest priority towers identified by DOD, plus 7 more towers where closure impact was rated as severe from their list of tower closures, leaving 21 towers to be closed that would also have a severe impact on operations. This was confirmed in a letter to Rep. Rob Bishop from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on April 29, 2013, and in communications from DOD to the office of Senator Lee. We request that FAA explain why Senator Lees office was told in response to the April 1, 2013 request that there was no feedback provided by DOD on the tower closure at OGD when in fact DOD had provided a detailed report to DOT on March 21, 2013 identifying 38 Contract Towers whose closures would result in a severe impact to operations, including OGD. We also request an explanation for its decision regarding the closure of these Contract Towers, and specifically as it relates to those towers that DOD determined would have a severe impact on mission operations. Our highest priority is ensuring the safety of our service-members and those who utilize these Contract Towers. This is a serious matter and we request your attention and prompt reply.