Recently, Randy Corfman, president of the Minnesota Pilots Association, contacted Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota, regarding the proposed closure of the tower at Anoka County-Blaine airport (KANE). What follows is her response:
July 2, 2013
Dear Dr. Corfman:
Thank you for contacting me about the proposed closing of the Anoka County-Blaine Airport air traffic control tower. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and concerns on this important issue.
As you know, the Budget Control Act of 2011 required across the board cuts to government agencies if Congress was unable to agree on a long-term deficit reduction plan. A compromise was not reached, and these automatic spending cuts called "sequestration" went into effect in early March 2013. As a result, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached a decision that 149 federal contract towers would close beginning on April 7, 2013 as part of the agency's sequestration implementation plan.
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I have worked hard to keep local airport towers up and running. The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, passed unanimously by the Senate, will allow the towers, which were originally slated for closure, to remain open through the end of Fiscal Year 2013. The legislation is similar to a bipartisan bill I introduced earlier in the year. I also wrote a letter to Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, urging him to see that the FAA implements the legislation as quickly as possible. Air traffic control towers are critical to maintaining safety in our skies and ensuring local airports can operate efficiently and effectively. I will continue to fight for a long term solution to protect towers from closure.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write to me. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation's capital to do the public's business and to serve the people of our state. With that in mind, I hope you will contact me again about this matter as the process moves forward.
United States Senator