After the announcement last week by the FAA of furloughs for air traffic controllers and closures of air traffic control towers across the nation, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the issue.
During the conference, Moran commented on the issue of the towers, but doesn’t see why it has come to this stage.
“We have taken a significant effort to get some common sense into the Department of Transportation,” said Moran. “The closing of air traffic control towers and the furloughing of air traffic control tower controllers seems to me to make no sense. There is no reason the Department of Transportation needs to do this. There’s sufficient flexibility on their part to make different decisions.”
To help increase the department’s flexibility on remedying the situation, Moran talked about the request he made to have a resolution that would help the situation by moving $50 million from an unspent fund, “mostly research projects”, to the fund for air traffic control towers.
This, however, was denied, according to Moran, by the Senate Majority Leader, and also the administration, which he takes to include “the White House” administration.
With these changes of forloughs and closures, Moran is concerned damage may come to some Kansas economies.
“These air traffic control towers in Kansas are important, ” Moran said. “Many of our communities have spent years developing a plan confincing the FAA that they’re needed and that decision was made a long time ago that for the ease of traffic or the safety of those who fly, air traffic control towers matter. And as a whim, overnight, to decide they’re no longer necessary is very damaging to the long term planning of our state and its aviation infrustructure.”
Moran stated the action taken towards the air traffic control towers is being fueled by a political agenda and in reality, they need to focus on what’s best for the American people.