What’s In A Number?
Opinion Press - June 27, 2013 8:46 am
The Salina Regional Airport’s FAA contract tower recorded 92,499 total operations over the past 12 months. An impressive number, but it is even more impressive to realize the various types of aviation activity and flights that add up to 92,499 takeoffs and landings.
* Military aviation
* Scheduled air service
* Pilot flight training
* Ag aircraft
* Air ambulance
* Air cargo
* Law enforcement
* Civil Air Patrol emergency response
* Aerial survey
* Business aviation
* Weather and climate research
* Aircraft flight test and certification
* Sport and recreation flying
* Glider operations
* UAS flight training and research
* Helicopter flight training
At all 251 FAA contact towers there is more to the story than just the number of daily, monthly and annual traffic counts. Air traffic controllers at these towers provide an essential service and provide for the safe and efficient operation of unique combinations of aircraft operations at their respective airports.
The benefits of air traffic control services cannot be measured by numbers alone. One has to look at what makes up the traffic count to best understand the necessity of a well funded air traffic control system for our nation.