U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement in reaction to the Federal Aviation Administration's announcement that air traffic control towers at five Illinois airports -- St. Louis Regional Airport, Central Illinois Regional Airport, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport and Waukegan Regional Airport -- will close starting April 7, 2013.
"There are many in Congress still arguing that the spending cuts due to sequestration won't make a difference. I disagree. These cuts are going to have real impacts on real people in Illinois," said Durbin. "I've heard and will continue to hear from airport managers, workers, travelers and businesses throughout the State of Illinois that have serious concerns about the sequestration impact on commercial and general aviation. I share their concern that these serious steps will increase delays, reduce capacity and potentially compromise the safety of the airspace in the areas surrounding these airports."
Durbin also pointed out that the aviation system is not the only sector of our economy that will be harmed by sequestration and the ongoing effort in the Senate to find a balanced solution:
"The aviation system is not the only harm sequestration will have on this country. Sequestration will reduce the readiness of our troops; put up to 10,000 veterans at substantial risk of becoming homeless; drop 70,000 children from Head Start, including 2,700 from Illinois; take nutritional assistance away from 600,000 families; and reduce foreclosure prevention and other counseling," said Durbin. "We need to stop sequestration with a balanced solution of budget cuts and revenue. In the Senate, we are currently debating budget legislation that will lay the groundwork to stop sequestration and the negative impacts it will have on our economy, our troops and working families across America."