Rosecrans Memorial Airport has a new general manager.
Forney comes our way from Lees Summit Municipal Airport, where he served for more
than six years as assistant airport manager.
His former duties include working with the airport budget and preparing items for the
city council and other boards. He was the direct supervisor over airport employees.
Prior to Lees Summit, Forney served at Lambert St. Louis International as the
airfield operations supervisor, where he managed the work quality of the airfield
maintenance team, conducted airfield and terminal safety inspections, and taught classes
on radio procedures, airfield familiarization, and airfield safety. As airfield operations
supervisor, he worked jointly with the airports control tower to ensure safe
operations of the airport facility. Previous to St. Louis, he worked at the Kansas City
Mr. Forney has been a Certified Flight
Instructor since 2001 and has his commercial pilots license. He received a Bachelor
of Science degree in Aviation Management from Central Missouri State University and also
is a member of the Missouri Airport Managers Association. He and his wife have two
daughters and one son.
Mr. Forneys duties will begin on Monday, January 28, 2013.
Forney replaces Mike Hurst, who resigned in August.
FAA delays closing of airport control towers
by Joan Lowy, Associated Press
Posted on April 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Updated Wednesday, Apr 10 at 2:52 PM
The Federal Aviation Administration said it needs more time to deal with legal challenges
to the closures.
Also, about 50 airport authorities and other "stakeholders" have indicated
they want to fund the operations of the towers themselves rather than see them shut down,
and more time will be needed to work out those plans, the agency said in a statement. Oberstar said.
The first 24 tower closures were scheduled to begin Sunday, with the rest coming over the
next few weeks. Obama administration officials have said the closures are necessary to
accomplish automatic spending cuts required by Congress.
Despite the delay, the FAA said it will stop funding all 149 of the airport towers, which
are operated by private contractors, on June 15. Under the new schedule, the closures will
be implemented at once, rather than a gradual phase-in as had been planned.
Airport operators in several states, including Florida, Illinois and Washington state, and
the U.S. Contract Tower Association, which represents the companies that operate contract
towers, have filed lawsuits with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington seeking
to halt the closures.
The suits contend that the closures violated a federal law meant to ensure major changes
at airports do not erode safety, and unfairly targeted the program for an outsized share
of the more than $600 million the agency is required to trim from its budget by the end of
"The administration has decided to make tower closures the poster child of
sequestration (automatic spending cuts)," said the group's director, J. Spencer
Dickerson. "We believe there are other ways they could have skinned this cat."
Federal officials have insisted that the closures wouldn't affect safety. And there is
evidence that with improving safety, some of the closures would make economic sense.
It turns out that the FAA has been using 30-year-old data on aircraft collisions to
justify the cost of operating many of the control towers, even though accident rates have
improved significantly over that time.
Had the FAA used more current data, it's probable that some low-traffic airport towers
operated by private contractors would no longer have met the agency's criteria for
funding, industry officials say. But the FAA has long been under pressure from members of
Congress to open new towers at airports in their states, not to close them.
The FAA began paying contractors to staff and operate towers at a handful of small
airports after President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
Today, there are 251 towers operated by private contractors at airports across the country
at an average annual cost of more than $500,000 each.
The closure plan is unrelated to the FAA's use of obsolete safety data to justify the
contract tower program.
In 1990, the FAA developed a complicated cost-benefit methodology for the tower program
that relies on accident data from 1983 to 1986 to determine how many accidents would be
averted and lives saved if an airport had controllers working onsite. The safety data have
never been updated, despite marked improvements in accident rates.
In 1983, there were 10.7 accidents for every 100,000 departures involving small planes,
business jets and other non-airline flights in the U.S., according to the National
Transportation Safety Board. By 2011, the latest year for which figures are available,
that rate had dropped to 6.5 accidents per 100,000 departures. The commercial airline
accident rate has also dropped, and fatalities have declined even more. There have been no
passenger airline fatalities in the U.S. in more than four years, the longest period
without fatalities since the dawn of the jet age half a century ago.
"None of the formulas have been updated since 1990, despite a very significant change
in the aviation operating environment and the general aviation and commercial accident
rates," the FAA said in a statement in response to questions from The Associated
Press. "The FAA is in the process of updating this policy."
Agency officials offered no explanation for the oversight.
"The FAA methodology likely overestimates present-day collisions," the
Congressional Research Service said in a recent report.
Initially the cost-benefit ratios were to be recalculated every two years, but that didn't
happen, said David A. Byers, an aviation professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
and a consultant to the companies that operate the towers. If they were recalculated now,
some airports would certainly fall below the FAA threshold for funding, he said.
Of the nation's 5,000 public airports, only about 10 percent have control towers. Those
without towers generally have relatively few flights, and pilots coordinate takeoffs and
landings among themselves.
Airport towers are prized by local communities as economic boosters, particularly in rural
areas. Airlines are sometimes reluctant to schedule flights to airports where there are no
on-site air traffic controllers.
Former Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., a critic of the contract tower program, said he
refused to allow lawmakers to insert provisions into bills requiring the FAA to pay for
new control towers at airports in their districts when he was chairman of the House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
"We couldn't always stop it in all instances in the appropriations process,
particularly when a bill comes from the Senate and it has a designation of funding for a
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your passion of flight and what to help people or pets in need, you should check out the
below information on Angel Flights and Pilots N Paws, two great organizations that could
use your pilot skills.
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