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NATCA Statement on FAA Announcement That Contract Tower Closures Are Delayed – (4/5/2013)

CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245

Continuing service at these towers will help maintain an important layer of safety, and for that reason we are pleased to hear they will remain open longer than originally expected. It is obvious that greater evaluation is needed and we hope that this extended timeframe results in a thorough assessment.

But sequestration is already negatively impacting our nation’s aviation system. The Federal Aviation Administration has frozen hiring and closed its training academy. A policy of reducing maintenance repairs, akin to skipping oil changes for your car, means equipment outages could be more common. And on April 21, furloughs start for air traffic controllers at all FAA towers and radar facilities, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in staffing.

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