An earlier post discussed the upcoming trend of splitting up-down towers and moving the Approach Control to a remote Metroplex. Another post suggested that the first facilities to experience this change will be in the Midwest where low union resistance is expected.
The article closes with, “Similar moves are being planned in other areas of the country as well”, although no details are provided.
Once they’ve done it with Dayton/Columbus, and with Mansfield/Canton/Cleveland, it’ll be an established pattern of successfully “transforming facilities” and they’ll continue the process in other small-to-medium facilities.
The end state will be the contracting out of the remaining VFR towers and the loss of one-third of controller jobs in the terminal option.
The risk will be that Approach controllers in remote locations will not have the intimate knowledge of the local area that resident controllers will have. Non-standard operations – thunderstorms, icing, emergencies – will suffer because of the loss of teamwork that exists in a combined facility. Moving the Tower function from government and into the hands of for-profit corporations will have predictable results.