Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work with the city of Allentown as it attempts to go forward with a plan to sell a six acre piece of land near the Queen City Airport. If the sale goes through it could result in the retention and creation of hundreds of good paying, private sector jobs.
"The federal government should be doing everything in its power to help cities like Allentown create jobs, not hold them back," Senator Casey said. "I'm calling on the FAA to work with Allentown and to reach a resolution that will allow the project to move forward."
The city currently owns the land in question. The FAA recently suggested that a sale of the land is inconsistent with the terms of a 2000 settlement agreement. The city disputes the FAA's interpretation of the agreement and is asking the FAA to drops its opposition to the plan which will retain and create hundreds of jobs.
The full text of Senator Casey's letter can be seen below:
Mr. Michael Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration
Dear Acting Administrator Huerta:
I write on behalf of the City of Allentown. In correspondence recently sent to the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority on July 12 of this year, the FAA references press reports detailing the City's interest in potentially selling a parcel of land near the Queen City Municipal Airport (XLL). These same reports indicate that the sale of this land could result in the retention of hundreds of jobs in the City of Allentown with potential to add more at the site.
Given the economic challenges currently facing Allentown, it is imperative that the FAA engage in a constructive dialogue with City officials to seek a resolution and give all due consideration to the City's proposal in a manner consistent with applicable law. Furthermore, I encourage the FAA to continue to keep the lines of communication open with the City on this issue.
My office will continue to stay engaged on this matter and I appreciate your attention to this important issue.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator