2013 Press Releases

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NBAA Welcomes Legislation to Halt Contract ATC Tower Closings

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, April 25, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed legislation recently introduced in the House and Senate barring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from closing contract air traffic control towers.

“We applaud congressional leaders for moving in a bipartisan, bicameral way to keep these towers open,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “As we have said so many times before, the towers are integral in ensuring that America's aviation system remains the safest, largest and most efficient in the world.”

In the Senate, Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), introduced a bill on April 9, (S.687) which would prohibit the FAA from closing air traffic control towers. The senators recently held a Capitol Hill press briefing to discuss the legislation for keeping the towers open. Review a copy of the legislation introduced by Sens. Moran and Blumenthal.

In the House, Reps. Tom Cotton (R-4-AR), Bruce Braley (D-1-IA) and Richard Hudson (R-8-NC)  introduced, on April 9, the “Air Traffic Control Funding Restoration Act” (HR 1432), which would provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the funds needed to continue operating the towers through fiscal year 2013. Review a copy of the legislation introduced by Reps. Cotton, Braley and Hudson.

In March, the FAA announced that the agency would begin closing a host of contract towers across the country to meet budget-curtailment requirements in effect as a result of the federal government's sequester, or reduced spending by agencies to help curb the nation’s deficit. On March 22, FAA officials announced that starting April 7, it would move ahead with the closure of 149 contract towers.

However, on April 5, the FAA granted a reprieve for the tower closures until June 15, saying that additional time was needed for FAA officials to further examine considerations related to the closures.

Both the House and Senate bills call upon the FAA to further confer with aviation stakeholders, review the agency’s tower-closure process and explore non-tower-related budget areas for reduction, so that the towers can remain open.

NBAA and other aviation organizations have repeatedly met with FAA officials to outline the industry’s concerns about the agency’s tower-closure plan. On March 12, Bolen wrote FAA Administrator Michael Huerta outlining the Association's position on the plan, and offering suggestions to help mitigate the impact tower closings on operations. Review Bolen's letter in its entirety.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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