5.15 ATCT Establishment

The installation of an airport traffic control tower (ATCT), or the cost-sharing of one through the FAA Contract Tower Program, is determined through a benefit-cost analysis. The volume of operations is the primary factor although the mix of traffic and location relative to busy commercial passenger hub airports are site-specific factors that can be evaluated when considering the establishment of an ATCT.

ACRP Report 129: Evaluating Methods for Counting Aircraft Operations at Non-Towered Airports
Reviews techniques and technologies applied at airports without ATCTs to estimate aircraft operations.

FAA Order JO 7210.78: FAA Contract Tower (FCT) New Start and Replacement Tower Process
Provides guidance to FAA lines of business, airport sponsors, and FAA contract tower service vendors on the establishment or replacement of an ATCT in the FCT Program. This order applies to new or replacement sponsor-built ATCTs. Portions of this order apply to non-federal control towers when transitioning into the FCT Program.

U.S. Contract Tower Association
Contains news and resources for airports with contract towers.