Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials are moving to close 149 air traffic control towers across the country, citing sequestration cuts, just two days after Senate Democrats blocked an effort to insulate the towers from the spending reduction.
“The Administration’s decision to shutter these air traffic control towers is short-sighted and dangerous,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement today. “Closing control towers is equivalent to removing stop lights and stop signs from our roads. It is clear that this Administration is putting its top-line message, that spending cannot be cut without severe consequences, before the safety and well-being of Americans.”
Moran’s statement followed a Bloomberg report that “the U.S. will close 149 air-traffic control towers run by contractors at small- and mid-sized airports on April 7 as a result of automatic budget cuts at government agencies.”
Two days ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote on a Moran amendment that would prevent the air traffic towers from being closed.
“[I]t is clear that saving air traffic control towers from closure does not fit their message that spending cannot be cut without disastrous consequences,” Moran said at the time, adding that he is talking to Senate Appropriations about how to avoid the closures.