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Letter from Rep. Kind: Kind continues to fight to keep air traffic control towers open

WASHINGTON, DC -- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) joined a bipartisan group of 83 colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood to direct some of their unobligated funds, made flexible through the Reducing Flight Delays Act that passed the House last week, to prevent 149 air traffic control towers from closing on June 15th. Towers slated for closure include those at the La Crosse Municipal Airport, the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport and the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee.

"I continue working to prevent the closure of these towers because closing them will lead to reduced aviation safety, stalled economic activity and weakened national security," said Rep. Kind. "The Department of Transportation needs to act now and direct these funds to the towers to keep them open and operational."

The legislation passed in late April, supported by Rep. Kind and signed into law by President Obama, gives the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation flexibility to use unobligated funds to ensure the safety of our nation's air transportation system. The funds could be used to prevent the closure of the 149 contract air traffic control towers and halt the furloughs of our air traffic controllers.

Rep. Kind has frequently written letters and spoken publicly about the need to keep the towers open, citing the important roles they play beyond providing excellent service to the flying public. Kind has also made it clear that he wants to replace sequestration in its entirety with comprehensive, responsible legislation that protects Head Start, Meals on Wheels, job training services and other critical programs that are being harmed by sequester cuts.