Cotton Responds to Local Airport Closures
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cotton released the following statement today in response to the announcement from FAA Administrator Huerta regarding the closure of 189 airport contract control towers as a result of sequestration:
"Local airports play a vital role in communities across the country. Combined, they handle 28% of tower operations nationwide. They serve as a gateway to distant markets for local businesses, as a primary link between rural communities and the larger aviation network, and as a critical backup to some of our nation's busiest airports.
"The sequester imposes $628 million in cuts from the Department of Transportation's budget, cuts which should be implemented in a responsible and rational manner. I find it difficult to believe that an agency that spends $500 million on consultants and $200 million on travel each year cannot find the funds to fully maintain this important part of nation's transportation infrastructure.
"I am working with my fellow members of the Arkansas delegation and my colleagues in the House to address this issue. Next week, we will send a letter to Administrator Huerta asking for a full explanation of the rationale behind these particular sequester cuts as well as details of the Department of Transportation's FY2013 thru FY2015 conventions, conferences, and trips that were organized, paid for, or attended by FAA staff and their cost to taxpayers.
"I am committed to protecting local airports from suffering unnecessarily as a result of the sequester. I look forward to hearing Administrator Huerta's response."