Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch lauded today's announcement by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the 149 contract towers scheduled to close June 15 will remain open for fiscal year 2013. Control towers in Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello and Hailey were going to be closed.
The two senators had signed a bipartisan letter to the secretary in mid-April, asking for alternatives to the tower closures. In late April, Congress approved legislation that assured the FAA they had the flexibility to move funds to keep air traffic controllers on the job and prevent tower closings.
In a statement, Senators Crapo and Risch said, "we believed the FAA had the necessary funds to keep our nation's airports fully staffed and running. It was unfortunate they initially took a different approach and caused community leaders in Idaho unnecessary headaches until Congress stepped in. We are pleased to see that Secretary LaHood has finally made that announcement to keep air traffic fully functioning."