Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC, March 14, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) supports an amendment from Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), which would halt the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) plan to close a host of air traffic control towers and other facilities.
Noting the integral role of the towers in the nation’s aviation system, and the economic boost that airports with towers play in surrounding communities, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen sent a letter to Moran in support of his amendment, noting: “It is very important to keep as many as possible in operation during these difficult economic times…The Moran amendment will ensure that citizens in every corner of the U.S. continue to have access to our national aviation system.”
The FAA recently began developing plans for closing nearly 170 control towers and other facilities in response to budget sequestration, or across-the-board cuts to federal agencies required in deficit-reduction legislation passed by Congress in 2011. The FAA’s deadline for industry input on its tower-closure plan is today, and a final announcement of its decision regarding the closures is expected March 18.
Moran’s amendment would offset the closures using savings from unobligated FAA research and capital funds provided in prior congressional appropriations bills, so that the facilities targeted for closure can remain open.
Moran plans to offer his amendment for inclusion in a comprehensive funding bill, called a “Continuing Resolution” (“CR”), which Congress is expected to consider this month. That resolution would continue funding for all federal agencies through the end of the government’s fiscal year, in the absence of congressional passage of specific appropriations bills.
Moran has been an outspoken supporter of general aviation, often highlighting the industry’s importance to the nation’s economy and transportation system. He emphasized the importance of those contributions when unveiling his amendment related to the air traffic tower closures.
Moran’s amendment follows a letter he joined in signing from the Kansas congressional Delegation to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta opposing the planned tower closures.
“We fear these cuts to control towers will compromise the FAA’s stated mission of providing the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world,” the letter reads, “and will put the flying public at risk, impair access to rural areas, jeopardize national and civil security missions, and cost jobs.”
This week, NBAA also wrote top transportation officials to express the business aviation community’s pressing concerns over the FAA’s tower-closure plan. “It is clear that jobs in small, medium and large towns across the country will be impacted,” stated a letter signed by Bolen.
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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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