February 28 2018

Gallatin Airport Authority to Fund Additional Tower Controller and Expand Tower Hours

BZN Air Traffic Control Tower

BOZEMAN, MT (February 28, 2018).  The Gallatin Airport Authority Board has approved funding for an additional tower controller in addition to the tower controllers funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Bozeman Yellowstone Int’l Airport (BZN) continues to grow and with increased airline and general aviation operations, the Gallatin Airport Authority has determined additional tower staffing is needed over and above the FAA approved staffing levels.  Despite repeated attempts to have the FAA fund tower staffing at levels comparable to other commercial airports our size (handling over 1.2 million passengers annually) the FAA continues to deny additional tower staffing for BZN.  Consequently, the Gallatin Airport Authority Board has stepped in and will fund an additional tower controller directly with the contractor that provides air traffic control services at BZN.  The addition of another controller will allow BZN to extend tower hours of operation two more hours with continuous tower coverage from 5:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. rather than the current hours of 06:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. once the additional controller is fully trained and certified.   

Over the past twenty years, the Gallatin Airport Authority has invested over $7 million in air traffic control equipment and services normally paid for by the FAA.  The investments include the construction of the air traffic control tower, the first airport funded radar in the nation, the first airport funded tower display, additional air traffic control hours beyond what the FAA funds and the ongoing maintenance and operation of the control tower. 

“While we are frustrated the FAA does not treat airports of similar size and nature equally, we are pleased that our Airport Board continues to invest in Air Traffic Control services and equipment to ensure BZN Air Traffic Control performs at the safest and most efficient levels,” said Brian Sprenger, Airport Director. 

The additional controller and expanded tower hours are expected to be in place before the busy summer that is anticipated to see passenger levels at least 10% higher than any previous summer period.

About Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport serves as a year-round gateway to Yellowstone National Park. BZN also serves the recreation areas of Big Sky Resort and the Bridger Bowl Ski Area as well as the business centers of Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston and higher education at Montana State University. For more information about Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport visit bozemanairport.com or follow Bozeman Airport on Twitter.
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September 24, 2018
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