Texas Congressman Kevin Brady has teamed up with a bipartisan group of over 45 lawmakers to force the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to uphold its responsibility for operating local contract air traffic control towers.
The Air Traffic Control Tower Funding Restoration Act reverses the FAA's political decision to close 149 contract towers, including Conroe's Lone Star Airport. The money to keep the towers open will be transferred from unused funding sitting idle in other accounts within the agency.
"This measure has one simple goal--- to force the FAA to stop playing politics with our local airports and to put a priority on air safety," said Brady. "We didn't have to dig very far to find idle funds from years past that would be better spent on the local towers."
Under the modest sequester savings, the FAA was told to cut 5% from a budget which has increased 40% since 2001. Instead of cutting waste, the FAA chose to close contract towers and send air traffic controllers home on furloughs.