Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kudos to Congress for funding air towers

    Now that Congress has approved and the president has signed legislation to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, we wanted to give special thanks to Sen. Mike Crapo, Sen. James Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman Raul Labrador for their outstanding leadership in protecting aviation safety in our community.
    As many will recall, the Federal Aviation Administration announced plans last spring to close 149 contract air-traffic-control towers nationwide, including ours, in an attempt to deal with budget cuts caused by sequestration. We argued vigorously against the FAA’s plans given the very serious impact that closing federal contract towers would have on aviation safety in our community and across the country. 
    Thanks to the leadership and support of Sens. Crapo and Risch, Congressmen Simpson and Labrador, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers who recognize the vital safety benefits that FAA contract towers provide the nation’s air transportation system, our contract tower and others were spared from closure last year. The recently enacted budget bill approved by Congress a few weeks ago will ensure that these critical air-traffic facilities will remain open through this fiscal year.  
    The FAA contract tower program, with 252 participating airports across the country, continues to be one of FAA’s most cost-effective programs for taxpayers and is a shining example of “smart” government programs during this challenging federal budget period.
    Thank you, legislators, for your efforts to protect the Contract Tower Program and aviation safety.  The aviation community in the Wood River Valley is very grateful for your leadership.
Ronald E. Fairfax
Friedman Memorial Airport Authority


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