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Spin Control

Posts tagged: faa

Senators weigh in on FAA tower closure plans

WASHINGTON — Powerful Congressional voices on transportation issues, including Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, admonished the Federal Aviation Administration for plans to shutter control towers nationwide as a result of federal spending cuts, including Spokane’s tower at Felts Field.

 Cantwell joined six of her colleagues on Capitol Hill to sign a letter insisting the agency look at other options to comply with mandated federal spending cuts. The signees warn the closures, which would hit 149 towers under contract with the FAA, could have air safety ramifications that have not yet been looked at closely.

 “It is deeply troubling that the agency seems intent on proceeding with the closure of key air traffic control assets absent adequate safety data and study,” the legislators wrote in a letter delivered to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Thursday.

 The Felts Field tower was scheduled to close April 7, but the FAA delayed those plans until June 15. The Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing next week to press officials on the affect federal budget cuts would have on air safety. Huerta will be among those testifying.

 Cantwell was among several Commerce Committee members who signed the letter, along with Committee Chairman Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

FAA fight could create INW problems

Inland Northwest airports may have major construction projects knocked off track by a congressional fight over the Federal Aviation Administration.

A $3.3 million grant to finish the major runway reconstruction at Spokane International Airport and a nearly $1 million grant for a building at Coeur d’Alene airport are in the bill that is stalled because of disagreements between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

The grants aren’t part of the dispute, which primarily involves subsidies to rural airports and collective bargaining rights. But until the bill passes, the money can’t be released and many FAA workers other than air traffic controllers are on furlough…

To read more of this story, go inside the blog.
  

FAA fight felt in Spokane, CdA

The fight between House Republicans and Senate Democrats over Federal Aviation Administration is being felt at Inland Northwest airports.

Spokane International Airport is worried about a $3.3 million grant to finish its runway enhancement, and getting the new instrumentation calibrated by the FAA, because the folks that do the calibrating are on furlough.

Coeur d'Alene Airport is worried about a nearly $1 million grant to build a structure for its Air Rescue and Firefighting vehicle.

The grants and funding for FAA employees are on hold because the bill is stalled, and Congress isn't due back until Sept. 7.

We'll have more on this story in Thursday's print and online editions.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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