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Supervisors partner with Leesburg to fund federal lobbyist for a permanent air traffic control tower

The Loudoun Board of Supervisors will support the Town of Leesburg in funding over to hire a specialized federal lobbyist to help the Leesburg Executive Airport get a permanent air traffic control tower.

In early May the Leesburg Town Council approved $36,000 in funding to hire a federal lobbyist for the effort.

The town has asked for partial assistance from the county to pay for the lobbyist to create “an effective coalition” to influence the fiscal 2018 federal transportation appropriations bill to support Leesburg in the Federal Aviation Administration Federal Contract Tower Program (FCT).

On June 6, the Board of Supervisors agreed to provide $1,000 per month over the next year as part of its agreement with the Town of Leesburg.

According to county documents, in order to create a permanent air traffic control tower, the town will need to be accepted into the FTC Program, which funds the annual staffing costs of operating a control tower -- a $650,000 annual cost.

Currently, the FAA does not have funding programmed in the FCT Program to continue operating the Leesburg Executive Airport’s remote tower beyond this summer.

The Leesburg Executive Airport is one of the busiest general aviation reliever airports in the country and the second-busiest general aviation airport in Virginia.

The Leesburg airport sees about more than 115,000 flight operations annually. The airport also contributes more than $78 million in direct and indirect local economic activity and is responsible for more than 600 jobs, according to town officials.

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