LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors voted today to oppose the planned closure of two local air traffic control towers as part of a $600 million cut to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The federal budget cuts dictated by sequestration — a failed plan to force a budget accord among lawmakers amid disputes over government spending — total $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The FAA announced plans last week to close 149 air traffic control towers operated under private contracts across the country.
Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Michael Antonovich recommended sending a letter to President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders opposing the planned closures of towers at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima and Fox Airfield in Lancaster.
Whiteman is close to Burbank Airport and “Whiteman tower controllers coordinate many dozens of flights per day through Burbank airspace,” according to the supervisors’ motion.
Fox Airfield coordinates hundreds of flights during wildfire disasters and is the base for U.S. Forest Service tankers, they said.
Jobs might also be lost as the result of closures, since the city of Lancaster is working to attract flight training and other commercial operators to Fox Airfield.
The board’s vote in opposition to the closures was unanimous.