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Aircraft Monitoring Forum This is the place to discuss monitoring civilian aircraft communications.

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Old 03-06-2013, 11:58 PM
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Default 173 Air Traffic Control Towers Closing

FAA says 173 air traffic control towers will close on April 7 - CNN.com

This will have a major impact on civil aviation monitoring!
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:34 AM
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I'm not at all happy about this. I hope this isn't the beginning of things to come.
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Old 03-07-2013, 3:38 AM
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Would the closed tower frequencies just resort to CTAF usage, or be silent and pilots just use other unicom and multicom frequencies instead?

On a side note, there are some badly-maintained radios out there which I'm sometimes amazed that even the tower can understand. But now, air-air comms are going to obviously be paramount perhaps especially for those who only communicated with the tower previously.

What I'm wondering is if we can provide a service by establishing a QUALITY feed for those affected areas, sitting on only the old tower freqs, or perhaps the local unicom or multicom if used, as a way for pilots to review the quality of their radios, and determine if they need maintenance / replacement. I think some pilots would be amazed at how bad they can sound at times if they knew how to go about retrieving and listening to a stream archive when they land.

My thinking here is that a QUALITY feed is a must - no cast-off handheld scanners with a rubber duck need apply...

Last edited by hertzian; 03-07-2013 at 3:45 AM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 4:32 AM
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Cool idea! But I believe pilots will just have to resort to RCAG and ATIS. The sad part is all the job loss and airports going silent.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:59 PM
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I'm not happy that the towers are closing, but if anything, this should enhance civil monitoring. The fields will all remain open, and landings will be coordinated air-air over CTAF. So now you'll be able to hear both sides of the conversation, whereas before you could only hear the tower side if you were close to the airport.
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Old 03-07-2013, 7:01 PM
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Our local tower is one that will be closing. I'm very upset to say the least, not just because I can't listen anymore but I'm concerned about the safety aspect and the fact 3 people will be losing their jobs. They were so good at what they did and you could tell they loved it.
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Old 03-08-2013, 8:42 AM
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I have to ask, what is "air-air over CTAF" ?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rt169Radio View Post
I have to ask, what is "air-air over CTAF" ?
Common traffic advisory frequency: Common traffic advisory frequency - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-08-2013, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlertNewEngland View Post
Isn't that similar to the UNICOM used at non-controlled airports?
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Old 03-08-2013, 6:07 PM
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I know my cities airport tower will be closing April 2nd. The airport is new Bedford regional airport. KEWB. Commercial flights will still be going in and out like capeair and other services.
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Old 03-10-2013, 7:56 AM
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I think there will be some tower closings in my area too.
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Old 03-22-2013, 9:46 PM
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This is the final list from the FAA released today. Yes the airports will go to CTAF mode. Some of these airports are very busy, I know my own Whiteman, Ca (KWHP) in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles can be a very busy place, especially on the weekends, so things will be getting dicey.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:48 AM
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3 in the Metro Atlanta area - LZH (Briscoe Field), RYY (McCollum Field) and AHN (Ben Epps Field).
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Old 03-23-2013, 7:10 AM
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Unhappy 3 Control towers closing in Michigan.

Here is a link to the article:
3 air traffic control towers to close in Michigan | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
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Old 03-23-2013, 1:46 PM
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CTAF = Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. This is the general designation for what used to be known as Unicom and Multicom.

Has anyone actually sat down and counted the towers on the official closing list? I see numbers reported from 149 to 173 in various places.
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Old 03-23-2013, 3:18 PM
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Government spending it out of control. We need to make cuts somewhere. I doubt very few controlers will be out of a job, they will just be transferred to another airport that's not closing. With that said one of my local airports tower will close, RNM. When RNM didn't have a control tower people were killed: "The tower opened in 2003, eight years after two federal firefighting aircraft, a spotter plane and a large tanker returning from fighting a desert wildfire, collided over Ramona as they were landing. Three people in the planes were killed, and although debris rained down upon Ramona and set two houses on fire, no one was injured on the ground."

It's also interesting to note that the controlers at RMN are not federal employess but are contracted out to Serco Inc.
Closing air tower called potential disaster | UTSanDiego.com
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Old 03-24-2013, 1:05 AM
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Sad to say, but almost can't wait for an accident to happen at a closed field. No, on second thought, nothing would happen. Sad, isn't it?
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Old 03-24-2013, 2:14 AM
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I use to listen to SGJ (St Augustine) When I lived there for 21 years. I was surprised to see them close the towers.
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Old 03-24-2013, 3:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KF6DGN View Post

It's also interesting to note that the controlers at RMN are not federal employess but are contracted out to Serco Inc.
Closing air tower called potential disaster | UTSanDiego.com
I'm not so sure about that. While Serco Inc may provide management and operations at the tower, I am almost certain all civil air traffic controllers in the USA are FAA employees.
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Old 03-24-2013, 5:20 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; U; en-US) Gecko/20081217 Vision-Browser/8.1 301x200 LG VN530)

Goodyear, AZ is one of the towers closing. It's a training airport for Lufthansa and the German air force, as well as general aviation pilots. I don't know if they'll stay when the tower closes.
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