May 02, 2006

Idaho Delegation Challenges FAA On Boise Airport Issues

Better communication, more timely action needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? The Idaho Congressional Delegation met today with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Marion Blakey to discuss pending issues of concern regarding the Boise Airport. FAA has proposed colocation of the Boise Airportâ??s Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities and personnel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The delegation also expressed deep concern with the lack of progress being made to construct a new air traffic control tower at the airport. â??We appreciated the opportunity to communicate our concerns to Administrator Blakey and make our resolve clear,â?? the delegation said in a joint statement. â??Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, so the need for safe, effective traffic control will only increase in the near future. For this reason, we are troubled by the FAA's proposed actions that could limit the airport's future ability to expand and diversify. â??We are hopeful that we can work together with the FAA to resolve the TRACON and tower issues in a positive, timely, and transparent way.â?? Since FY 2004, the Idaho Delegation has secured more than $16 million of the approximately $23 million needed to build the control tower in Boise, but FAA officials estimate that construction may not get underway until 2009. The delegation has not ruled out legislative options to address the TRACON and tower issues.