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Air Traffic Control Contract Tower Closure Mayors’ Letter

May 1, 2013

The Honorable Michael Huerta
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20591

Dear Administrator Huerta,

We are writing to express our deep concerns about the FAA’s current plans to close air traffic control towers at our community airports in order to comply with “sequestration,” or mandatory budget cuts to agencies. The closing of these towers will have a significant impact on our economy and local communities.

First and foremost, the closure of these towers will negatively impact jobs and the economy within our communities. Our airports and the aircraft and businesses that rely upon them are a major economic driver, attracting businesses and generating millions in economic activity annually. Many of our locally based businesses use these airports to base their own aircraft and as a means to access new markets, deliver goods and serve customers. At a time when we as a nation should be focused on creating and supporting jobs, these closures will only serve to hamper business growth, while also potentially leaving even more hundreds upon thousands of workers unemployed.

Not only that, shutting down these towers would have a devastating impact on our communities, as these airports and the aircraft that use them serve as a critical lifeline for our communities for everything from fire-fighting, law enforcement, medical care, disaster relief, aerial surveying and crop protection, and flight training, among many others. Whether it’s transporting patients from rural areas to medical centers to receive treatments, reuniting veterans with their families, transporting organs or blood to communities in need, or supporting our nation’s agricultural industry and food supply, airports connect our communities in almost every way imaginable.

Aviation and our local airports are a critical economic lifeline for these communities, and we simply cannot afford this type of devastating blow at a time when our communities are already struggling to recover. We ask you to reconsider this decision in light of these concerns, and look forward to working with you on this and other matters related to our communities.

Sincerely,

Mayor Mike Rawlings – Dallas, TX
Mayor Michael B. Coleman – Columbus, OH
Mayor Kevin Johnson – Sacramento, CA
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild – Tucson, AZ
Mayor Mick Cornett – Oklahoma City, OK
Mayor Harvey Johnson – Jackson, MS
Mayor Donnalee Lozeau – Nashua, NH
Mayor Allen Joines – Winston Salem, NC
Mayor Michael Gillette – Lynchburg, VA
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson – Gary, IN
Mayor Jared D. Fuhriman – Idaho Falls, ID
Mayor Bruce Whitaker – Fullerton, CA
Mayor Linda D. Thompson – Harrisburg, PA
Mayor Micah Cawley – Yakima, WA
Mayor Bob McDavid – Columbia, MO
Mayor Adam Barringer – New Smyrna Beach, FL
Mayor John Manchester – Lewisburg, WV
Mayor Sam Rikard – Olive Branch, MS
Mayor Jack Hakim – Bullhead City, AZ
Mayor Nancy Denson – Athens, GA
Mayor Barbara Griffin – Latrobe, PA
Mayor John Bartley – Stillwater, OK
Mayor Gayle Kaler – Paducah, KY
Mayor Rusty Bailey – Riverside, CA
Mayor Mike Caldwell – Ogden, UT
Mayor Cindy Rosenthal – Norman, OK
Mayor Daniel Guerrero – San Marcos, TX
Mayor Susan Whelchel – Boca Raton, FL
Mayor Knox White – Greenville, SC
Mayor Cedric B. Glover – Shreveport, LA
Mayor Mathias Harter – La Crosse, WI
Mayor Andy McKenzie – Wheeling, WV
Mayor Barbara Bass – Tyler, TX
Mayor Robert D. Newell – Parkersburg, WV
Mayor Keith G. Bosman – Kenosha, WI
Mayor Roy D. Buol – Dubuque, IA
Mayor Lee Bettis, Jr. – New Bern, NC
Mayor John H. Cox III – Greenville, MS
Mayor Bj Murphy – Kinston, NC
Mayor Georgia Lord – Goodyear, AZ
Mayor Fred L. Fitch – Lawton, OK
Mayor Joe Gunter – Salinas, CA
Mayor Robert Reichert – Macon, GA
Mayor Fritz X. Haemmerle – Hailey, ID
Mayor James Ireton, Jr. – Salisbury, MD
Mayor David Gysberts – Hagerstown, MD
Mayor Jim Cox – Victorville, CA
Mayor Bob Bush – Hutchinson, KS
Mayor Tim Flynn – Oxnard, CA
Supervisor Dianne Jacob – San Diego County, CA
Mayor Ron Payne – Owensboro, KY
Mayor J. Scott Padgett – Concord, NC
Mayor Brian C. Blad – Pocatello, ID
Mayor Robert C. Willey – Easton, MD
Mayor Nancy Berry – College Station, TX
Mayor John R. Curtis – Provo, UT
Mayor Svante L. Myrick – Ithaca, NY
Mayor Joseph R. Fusco, Jr. – Rome, NY
Mayor Al Erickson – Mosinee, WI
Mayor Phillip W. Houk – Pendleton, OR
Mayor Michael Copeland – Olathe, KS
Mayor Tom Hoechst – Alton, IL
Mayor Terry Jones – Millington, TN
County Executive Ed FitzGerald – Cuyahoga County, OH
Mayor Jack Reed, Jr. – Tupelo, MS
Mayor George Garver – Georgetown, TX
Mayor Mike McElroy – Decatur, IL
Mayor R. Rex Parris – Lancaster, CA
Mayor Gale Pospisil – New Braunsfels, TX
Mayor Doug Daoust – Troutdale, OR

 

Press coverage:

USA TODAY – FAA won’t End Midnight Controller Shifts to Cut Costs

AVIATION WEEK – Aviation Groups Await Word on Towers’ Fate

AERO-NEWS NETWORK – Seventy Mayors Address Letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

THE OKLAHOMAN – Washington Notes for May 5

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL – Winston-Salem Mayor among Leaders Expressing Concerns over Tower Closings

LOCAL NEWS 8 – Mayors Oppose Closure of Control Towers

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