Senator Boxer: Improving Palm Springs Airport
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I recently visited Palm Springs International Airport to call for a long-term solution to the FAA funding crisis that stopped construction of the new airport control tower for two weeks. To view photos of my visit, please click here.
After Republicans in Congress blocked a routine short-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), construction work at more than 200 airport safety and improvement projects across the country came to a halt, thousands of critical FAA employees were furloughed, and 70,000 private sector workers were told not to come to work.
In Palm Springs, work on the new air traffic control tower stopped, sixty private construction workers were left without jobs, and the contractor lost thousands of dollars a day in rental fees.
Fortunately, after the two-week shutdown, a temporary agreement was reached, and these workers are returning to the job helping to make Palm Springs Airport safer. Unfortunately, if we don't act soon to pass a long-term FAA bill, we'll be right back where we were during the shutdown, with critical safety projects delayed nationwide and thousands of workers out of a job.
Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a long-term FAA bill, but House Republicans have refused to sit down and negotiate compromises on the differences between the two bills. As a member of the conference committee charged with working out these differences, I joined several colleagues in a recent letter asking House Speaker Boehner to come to the table and end the brinksmanship surrounding short-term FAA extensions.
It is time to complete work on the FAA bill so that we can finish the Palm Springs tower as well as projects at airports throughout California and make air travel safer for all airline passengers.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer