Rep. Davis Statement on Funding for Airport Control Towers
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released the following statement after language to protect funding for the nation's 252 contract control towers, including the towers in Bethalto, Bloomington and Decatur, was included in the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
“Last year we saw the Administration try to play politics with passengers by attempting to needlessly close nearly 150 contract control towers while at the same time furloughing hundreds of air-traffic controllers,” said Davis. “While we were able to avoid these closures and the devastating affects to the airports and the communities they serve last year, action was still needed to remove the threat of closures again this year.
“Throughout the past month I worked with the House negotiators to ensure that we included language to protect the funding for these control towers for another year and provide the airports with the certainty they need to plan for the future. Congress needs to continue to fund and improve programs that work and provide cost savings to the taxpayers and real economic value to the communities that they serve, like the contract control tower program.”
Background: Rep. Davis has been one of the leaders on the contract control tower issue in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2013 the FAA proposed closing 149 contract towers, including the towers in Bethalto, Bloomington and Decatur, citing cuts due to sequestration. Through legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Davis, Congress gave the FAA the flexibility they requested to transfer funds and avoid furloughing traffic controllers and closing contract towers for the remainder of that fiscal year.