Today, Congressmen Tom Cotton (AR-04), Bruce Braley (IA-01), and Richard Hudson (NC-08) issued the following statement on the introduction of H.R. 1432, the Air Traffic Control Tower Funding Restoration Act, a bipartisan bill that restores funding for contractor-operated air-traffic-control towers without appropriating new funds:
"Last month, the FAA announced it would direct what we believe are a disproportionate share of their sequestration cuts towards the Federal Contract Towers program budget. During Senate consideration of fiscal year 2013 appropriations last month, Senator Moran (R-KS) led a bipartisan group of senators in offering an amendment to provide funding to the contract towers. Unfortunately, the amendment was not brought up for a vote, meaning 150 air-traffic-control towers will close on June 15, and an additional 16 towers will shut down by year's end.
"Local air-traffic-control towers have served a vital role in our country's aviation infrastructure for over 30 years and are integral to the success of local businesses and rural communities. They prove to be a safe, cost-effective alternative to federally operated towers in low-traffic areas and should not be closed without an opportunity to evaluate alternative approaches the FAA could take within its operating budget.
"In the interim, the Air Traffic Control Tower Funding Restoration Act would provide control-tower funding through a rescission of unobligated funds within the current FAA budget. We urge the FAA to reevaluate these impending cuts and look forward to working with our colleagues as this legislation advances."