Contact: Giselle Barry (Markey) 2022242742
Meghan Aldridge (Lynch) 2022258273
Washington (November 25, 2013) - In an effort to avert economic, security and safety hazards caused by the potential closure of six Massachusetts air traffic control towers, Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (DMass.) led a letter signed by the entire the Massachusetts Congressional delegation urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to keep the six towers open. Absent a longterm budget solution, the towers, which faced closure earlier this year but were protected by a temporary legislative fix, may be subject to shutdown. In March, the FAA announced the closure of the six towers that service a number of Massachusetts airports, including those in Beverly, Lawrence, New Bedford, Norwood, WestfieldBarnes and Worcester. The delegation also sent a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees calling on them to protect funding for the towers in their budget negotiations.
"The FAA's contract tower program is critical to enhancing aviation safety and cost savings at our nation's smaller airports," write the members of the delegation in the letter to the FAA. "The towers permit safe arrivals and departures, prevent midair collisions, and maintain the safety and efficiency of our national airspace system through essential flight training programs. These airports also have a significant direct economic impact on smaller cities and rural areas. Combined, the six named towers in Massachusetts manage hundreds of thousands of operations annually. The potential closure of these facilities will have negative economic impacts on surrounding airport communities"