Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Dardanelle) issued the following statement today in response the FAA's announcement that it will close 149 airport contract control towers starting April 7 as a result of modest spending reductions related to sequestration:
"I'm deeply disappointed in the FAA's unexplained decision to move forward with the closure of air-traffic control towers operated by contractors at 149 local airports across the country. Today's announcement means that 28% of our country's aviation infrastructure will be shut down. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta seems to be taking a page from President Obama's playbook. But the impact of these closures will be much deeper than the cancellation of school children's White House tours--many hard-working Arkansans will lose their jobs and our state economy will suffer.
"Particularly troubling is that these closures seem to be coming before cuts to the FAA's generous conference and travel budgets. Last week, I led 45 of my colleagues in the House and Senate in writing a letter to FAA Administrator Huerta requesting more information regarding his agency's plan to implement sequester-related spending cuts.
"I urge Administrator Huerta to answer our request for more information by the March 29th deadline. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to explore whether the FAA is properly prioritizing its budget or just following the Obama administration game plan of hysteria and hyperbole about modest spending reductions."