BISHOP WORKS TO STOP AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FURLOUGHS, CLEAR COMMERCIAL AVIATION TRAFFIC
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02) issued a statement regarding the passage of H.R. 1765, the Reducing Air Flight Delays Act. H.R. 1765 will provide the Secretary of Transportation with the flexibility to transfer funds to prevent further disruptions resulting from Federal Aviation Administration furloughs. If enacted, this bill will end the air traffic control furloughs that have congested commercial aviation traffic over the last week. Congressman Bishop voted in favor H.R. 1765; the bill passed 361 to 41.
“This bill will give the Secretary of Transportation the flexibility to stop the closure of the 149 identified contract towers across the country,” said Congressman Bishop. “As I and those in my District can attest, these contract towers, such as the ones in Albany and in Macon, play an important role in serving as a link between rural communities and the larger aviation network. Now that we have provided the Department of Transportation with the tools it needs to prevent FAA furloughs and contract tower closures, I am hopeful for a clearing of commercial traffic in the near future.”
Currently, the FAA is furloughing almost 10 percent of its air traffic controller workforce on a daily basis. Since the furloughs began on Sunday through Wednesday this week, the number of air travel delays has totaled 8,804 compared to 2,795 for the same time last week. These delays inconvenience passengers and cause serious economic disruptions throughout the entire country.
H.R. 1765 will provide the Secretary of Transportation with the flexibility the Department of Transportation needs to fix this problem without adding to the FAA’s budget. The additional flexibility in this bill will also give the Secretary the ability to restore the FAA’s Contract Tower Program.