Fri, May 04, 2007
SoCal Facilities Would Remain Separate Until New Board Reviews
On Thursday, US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced the
Senate Commerce Committee's bipartisan draft FAA Reauthorization
Bill includes her request to delay consolidation of the Palm
Springs TRACON into the Southern California TRACON.
Representatives for the senator say the provision stops the
consolidation until both the FAA and the newly proposed Air Traffic
Control Modernization Oversight Board have thoroughly reviewed the
FAA's recommendation to consolidate.
"I am so glad that the Commerce Committee has heard the calls of
the air traffic controllers, pilots, and members of Congress, who
have raised a number of concerns on the proposal," Boxer said.
The SoCal TRACON is reported to be among the busiest in the
world, with 2.2 million operations annually. The National Air
Traffic Controllers Association maintains the facility is already
dangerously short-staffed and operational errors are rising.
Boxer says she agrees with the concerns of NATCA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association, that the SoCal TRACON would not have
adequate staffing and training to safely absorb the additional
220,000 operations from Palm Springs -- which would require
controllers to juggle complex airspace, surrounded by mountainous
"This should send a signal to the FAA to immediately delay a
potentially dangerous situation," Boxer adds. "Today's action by
the Commerce Committee means this consolidation should stop in its
tracks. To that end, I have today sent a letter to FAA
Administrator Blakey alerting her to this provision and telling her
that if FAA moves forward with this consolidation, it will be
viewed as bad faith by all of the parties involved."
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