Eagle County eyes housing help for airport controllers | VailDaily.com

Eagle County eyes housing help for airport controllers

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Eagle County wants to give air traffic controllers at the airport a housing stipend in order to keep them around longer than a season.

Lower pay compared to other airports and the high cost of living in the county has left officials dealing with a lot of turnover in the air traffic controller position at the Eagle County airport.

“The word out there is that Eagle is grossly expensive,” said Airport Director Ovid Seifers.

The county doesn’t hire the controllers ” who are in charge of coordinating the take off and landing of every plane at the airport. The tower gets its controllers from Serco Inc., which has a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration to staff the tower.

Serco gives the tower employees a $400 a month housing stipend. The county wants to kick in an additional $1,000 a month for the controllers. The money would come out of the airport budget and be capped at $50,000 for the year.

Officials haven’t had any luck trying to get ahold of Serco to talk about increasing the stipend and decided a while ago to start looking at its own retention program.

The county could also be dealing with a new company in charge of staffing the tower in a few months. Serco’s five-year contract to run the tower expires in October. The Federal Aviation Administration will accept bids for a new five-year contract and select either Serco or a new company.

Seifers said he thinks Serco will win the bid and suggested the county start offering its own stipend in May.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.

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