FAA Heeds Costa’s Call for Caution, Delays Cuts at Castle

Merced, CA- Rep. Jim Costa released the following statement about the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) announcement to postpone until June 15th the closure of 149 federal air traffic control towers, including the tower at Merced’s Castle Airport. Last month, the FAA announced that federal funding to maintain air traffic control operations at Castle would be discontinued on April 7th. Yesterday, Congressman Costa joined nearly 50 other Members of Congress on a letter to encourage the FAA to reconsider their closure decisions that would fall disproportionately on rural communities and compromise safety at small to medium air fields.

“Merced’s Castle Airport is important not just to our Valley economy but also to disaster assistance and military readiness,” said Costa. “The FAA heeded our calls that they put the brakes on tower closures and reevaluate their ill-advised decision. Their original announcement goes completely against the idea of shared sacrifice and puts the entire burden on communities like Merced"

We have time now to make sure that the Administration uses all of the discretion it was granted under sequestration to keep our skies safe. There is a better way, and I’m working with my colleagues to make sure the Administration finds it.”