U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02), chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, today issued the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) announcement of its intent to close select air traffic control towers nationwide.
"I am deeply disappointed by FAA's decision to close 149 contract towers in the coming weeks despite serious concerns from Congress, the aviation industry, local communities and the flying public. I believe FAA has the necessary flexibility to find $50 million in savings from these tower closures elsewhere within their $9.7 billion Operations account. Given the FAA's first and most important mission is to ensure aviation safety, it is my expectation that a thorough safety risk assessment has been conducted for each and every proposed tower closures with input considered from airport personnel, the airlines, FAA staff, and other aviation operators. My committee has requested and is awaiting all information the FAA relied upon in making this decision. It is my concern that the Obama Administration's decision to close these towers is merely to fit their public relations narrative about sequestration rather than sound policy and management practices."