U.S. Sen. David Vitter today met with officials from the Shreveport Downtown Airport and Barksdale Air Force Base regarding the scheduled closure of the control tower. The control tower is set to close on April 7, 2013.
"There's no good reason that this or other control towers have to close," Vitter said. "During the budget debates, we proved that the necessary savings to keep the towers open exist and could easily be moved to provide funding so our airports like the Shreveport Downtown Airport aren't negatively affected by automatic spending cuts."
On March 1, 2013, automatic spending cuts went into effect, through the sequestration plan that Vitter opposed, and reduced budgets for all federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Vitter cosponsored a bipartisan amendment to give greater flexibility and authority to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to shift funding within the department from areas with the least impact from the automatic cuts.
Vitter also supported a bipartisan bill to prohibit DOT from closing any air traffic control towers, including the control tower at the Downtown Shreveport Airport. Below is a video of Vitter discussing the FAA towers.