(Special to westernkansasnews.com)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) – members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – led a bipartisan letter of 36 Senators urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to implement a provision in this year’s FAA Reauthorization legislation (H.R. 302) allowing airports that utilize the contract tower program to become eligible for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants from the small airport fund. This provision was introduced by Sens. Moran and Cortez Masto and included in H.R. 302 that was recently signed into law by the president.
“The eight air traffic control towers across Kansas that utilize the contract tower program not only provide an important safety service for critical local airports, but they do so in a cost-effective manner,” said Sen. Moran. “It is the clear intent of Congress that tower construction and improvement, as well as related equipment, should be given priority consideration when determining which projects should receive grants from the small airport fund. These control towers and the airports at which they’re located help provide a vital link between the communities and businesses they serve and the rest of the world, and it is crucial that the FAA implement this provision.”
The letter was also signed by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Doug Jones (R-Ala.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
The full letter can be found here: https://www.moran.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/4/c/4ccedd36-9d26-4d21-b0c7-0929bce46a4a/8193A175097C8E8A7DE117419A5DCFE4.letter-on-contract-towers.pdf
Item to note:
Airports in Kansas utilizing the contract tower program and affected by this measure include: Hutchinson Regional Airport, Manhattan Regional Airport, Garden City Regional Airport, Salina Regional Airport, Topeka Regional Airport, Billard Airport in Topeka, Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe and New Century AirCenter in Gardner.