FAA Closures Endanger Public, Says Antonovich

Press Release posted 3/24/13 – “The FAA’s politically motivated decision to shutter Los Angeles County’s Fox and Whiteman Airfields endangers public safety and has virtually no impact on federal spending,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich on the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement that it will close contract air-traffic control towers beginning April 7 because of the sequestration.

“Sequestration accounts for just 2.3% of a $3.6 trillion dollar budget,” he added.  “Even with sequestration, the federal government will spend $15 billion dollars more in 2013 than it did in 2012.  Furthermore, these facilities have already been funded by previous budget maneuvers.”

“Closely situated near Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, the Whiteman contract tower plays a vital role in the air safety of the heavily trafficked skies of the east San Fernando Valley,” he said.  “The Fox Airfield tower in Lancaster also coordinates hundreds of flights per year during wildfires when the Forest Service’s tanker base is activated.”

Los Angeles County’s Whiteman Airport and General William J. Fox Airfield towers are funded by the FAA but operated by private contractors at half the cost of federal towers – which are not being closed.

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