The Alliance released a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta from 70 Mayors and community leaders around the country whose communities would be affected by the FAA’s potential, scheduled closure of contract air traffic control towers. The letter expresses concern over the impact of these potential closures on their communities, and highlights the vital role of local airports to businesses, organizations, emergency services, and the economy as a whole. The scheduled tower closures are the result of mandatory, across the board budget cuts, or “sequestration,” and would affect 149 airports nationwide. The closures are currently scheduled to take effect on June 15.
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Administrator Huerta,
We are writing to express our deep concerns about the FAA’s current plans to close air traffic control towers at our community airports in order to comply with “sequestration,” or mandatory budget cuts to agencies. The closing of these towers will have a significant impact on our economy and local communities.
First and foremost, the closure of these towers will negatively impact jobs and the economy within our communities. Our airports and the aircraft and businesses that rely upon them are a major economic driver, attracting businesses and generating millions in economic activity annually. Many of our locally based businesses use these airports to base their own aircraft and as a means to access new markets, deliver goods and serve customers. At a time when we as a nation should be focused on creating and supporting jobs, these closures will only serve to hamper business growth, while also potentially leaving even more hundreds upon thousands of workers unemployed.
Not only that, shutting down these towers would have a devastating impact on our communities, as these airports and the aircraft that use them serve as a critical lifeline for our communities for everything from fire-fighting, law enforcement, medical care, disaster relief, aerial surveying and crop protection, and flight training, among many others. Whether it’s transporting patients from rural areas to medical centers to receive treatments, reuniting veterans with their families, transporting organs or blood to communities in need, or supporting our nation’s agricultural industry and food supply, airports connect our communities in almost every way imaginable.
Aviation and our local airports are a critical economic lifeline for these communities, and we simply cannot afford this type of devastating blow at a time when our communities are already struggling to recover. We ask you to reconsider this decision in light of these concerns, and look forward to working with you on this and other matters related to our communities.
The link to the letter can be viewed here.