Updated 4/4/13 11 a.m.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) – leaders in the recent bipartisan effort to keep contract towers open during debate on the continuing resolution – intend to introduce a free-standing bill early next week when Congress returns from its two week Easter recess to prohibit FAA from closing all 149 contract towers on FAA’s closure list. AAAE, USCTA, and other groups that have been actively engaged in ongoing efforts to keep contract towers open are supportive of the Moran/Blumenthal bill.
As such, we urge EVERYONE (including the 102 airports whose contract towers were saved, at least for now) to contact the offices of your two U.S. Senators right away and urge them to cosponsor the Moran/Blumenthal legislation. If your contacts in Senate offices indicate they would like to be a co-sponsor, or if they need additional background or information, please have them contact Tom Bush in Senator Moran’s office (202/224-6521). If you need phone numbers for your Senators, please click on the web link below. Please keep us posted on what you hear from your Senate offices.
We also expect that similar legislation will be introduced in the House of Representatives. Stay tuned for additional details and “marching orders” aimed at building support for these important legislative initiatives.
Given continued opposition from the Administration, gaining enactment of legislation in the near-term to keep towers open will be extremely difficult. It is critical, however, that we continue to build support behind these initiatives to highlight the importance of contract towers and to lay the groundwork necessary to gain funding for the contract tower program in fiscal year 2014 and beyond.
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Below is an excellent editorial that was published in the Spokane, Washington newspaper. We encourage each airport to contact the editorial department of your local newspaper and encourage them to publish a similar editorial.
Editorial: FAA closure of control towers at Felts, elsewhere irresponsible