BISHOP OPPOSES AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER CLOSURES
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) joined 46 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Administrator Michael P. Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) protesting the closure of 149 federal contract air traffic control towers due to budget cuts associated with sequestration and requesting consideration of all possible alternatives to maintain some level of service for the air towers.
Also today, the FAA announced that it will delay the closure of the 149 air traffic control towers until June 15, 2013 to resolve a number of legal obstacles in the closure implementation process and allow the agency to review appropriate risk mitigations. A four-week phased process was due to begin on Sunday, April 7, 2013.
“The closure of these air traffic control towers is another example of the disastrous effects of sequestration,” said Congressman Bishop. “If the process is allowed to continue, it will have a severe impact on services to the Albany and Macon airports and potentially create a safety risk. I will continue to fight to keep these towers open and urge Congress to replace the sequester with a more sensible solution.”
The letter to the FAA from Members of Congress lists some possible alternatives to the complete closure of all contract air towers, including other ways of reducing spending that would spread the burden across all programs or requesting a reprogramming of funds from Congressional appropriators. The letter also was sent to President Barack Obama and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. To read the full text of the letter to the FAA, please click here.