May 26, 2005

DELEGATION: BOISE TOWER DECISION CREATES SAFETY ISSUES

FAA wants to close Boise Airport Control Tower from midnight to 5 a.m.

Washington, DC â?? Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation has written the head of the Federal Aviation Administration asking her not to close the control tower at the Boise Airport from midnight to 5:00 a.m. Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and Congressmen Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter, wrote FAA Administrator Marion Blakely, warning the proposed move, for apparent cost-cutting reasons, puts pilots and passengers in danger and could cause economic losses related to commercial traffic flying into Boise at night.â??Your proposal would force the pilots to land at an airport while controlled off-site from another location with imperfect knowledge of ground conditions in Boise,â?? the Delegation members wrote. â??The risk associated with this is unacceptable.â??The Delegation members pointed out many commercial flights routinely arrive in Boise after 11:00 p.m. and that delays could push those arrivals past midnight, when no one would man the air traffic control tower in Boise. The FAA, citing costs, wants to regulate air traffic from an alternative site outside of Boise.â??To close the control tower at the airport would represent a serious safety hazard to the flying public as well as cause economic harm to the State,â?? the Delegation members said. They noted many businesses, such as the U.S. Mail, Federal Express, and the United Parcel Service often land their planes in Boise after midnight, and that those companies could choose to change plans if the Boise Tower is not manned 24 hours a day.# # #