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Mikulski Announcing Funding For FAA Towers

April 25th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill includes $159 million to fully fund 149 federal contract air traffic control towers across the nation, including five in Maryland.


In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.


“This bill is good news for federal contract air traffic control towers and the communities and jobs that rely on them,” Senator Mikulski said. “In recent years, these contract towers and their communities have faced shutdown, furloughs and uncertainty. They're in communities like Easton. And the Frederick Municipal Airport that the President uses periodically for coming to Camp David. And also Hagerstown, Martin State, and one serving Salisbury and Ocean City. I will keep fighting to ensure the continued operation of our regional airports, making our nation safer and our economy stronger.”


The legislation would provide funds to keep open all federal air traffic control towers, including the following five in Maryland:


·         Easton/Newnam Field

·         Frederick Municipal Airport

·         Hagerstown Regional Airport

·         Martin State Airport

·         Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport


In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans to close 149 federal air traffic control towers across the nation due to the sequester law. In April of 2013, Congress passed legislation giving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flexibility to shift funding to prevent furloughs of air traffic controllers and keep the air traffic control contract towers open.


The bill also continues strong funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants at $3.35 billion. This program provides both formula and discretionary funding to airports for exterior capital improvements and repairs including new runway aprons, lighting, planning and land purchases. This critical funding helps modernize airports across Maryland with safety upgrades and creates construction jobs. Revenues for AIP come from airport user fees and fuel taxes.


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