Contractors have been told to stop work on critical airport modernization projects around the country after Congress failed to pass legislation giving the FAA the authority necessary for work to continue by last Friday’s deadline. Dozens of “stop work orders” have been issued for major projects designed to build and modernize control towers and other aviation infrastructure from coast to coast. Construction workers, engineers and planners were told not to come to worksites across the country after the FAA was forced to issue stop work orders on projects ranging from the construction of new air traffic control towers to the rehabilitation and modernization of air traffic facilities. Nearly 4,000 FAA personnel, many needed to oversee various aspects of these projects, were furloughed on Saturday. Stopping work on these projects could significantly increase the ultimate costs of construction for taxpayers. Affected contractors, airport managers, and local officials across America are calling for action.
“This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.”
–Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, Portland Press Herald, July 26, 2011
“Unless Congress acts quickly, more work on projects critical to our nation's aviation system will come to a halt.”
–Randy Babbitt, FAA Administrator, My Fox News Chicago, July 25, 2011
“So for them [construction workers] this is like running into a brick wall, and they're asking me, 'How do we explain this to our families?' I don't know what to say to them."
– Lucca Toscano, Vice President Paul J. Scariano construction firm, Fast Lane, July 25, 2011
“I got a telephone call Friday about noon that said the job was going to go into suspension effective midnight Friday…Disappointment for the most part. Most don't really understand what's going on and why something like that there is affecting what's going on here on their everyday job.”
– Ken Hengst, project manager for EAS Contracting, KRIV-FOX Houston, July 26, 2011
“It's never a good way to run a construction project just to randomly tell people just to stop work.”
–Paul Bradbury, Jetport Director, Portland Daily Sun, July 26, 2011
“I've been doing this for 19 years, 7 here at this airport. I've never seen anything quite like this… As you can tell, if this project stopped right now, we'd literally have a torn-up ramp. The busiest ramp here at the airport, having this kind of hole in it.”
– Brian Kulpin, Reno-Tahoe International Representative, KTVN Nevada, July 25, 2011
“It's depressing, you got a site [McCarran Control Tower] that was flourishing with activity and there's nothing going on right now.”
– Sasha Milosavljevich of Archer-Western Contractors, CBS News, July 26, 2011
“The economy has devastated construction in Las Vegas in the last couple years and we were really excited to get this going…It’s disheartening we’re in this position now and our people have to stay home while Congress works this out.
– Darren Enns, secretary-treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council, Las Vegas Sun, July 26, 2011
“It's very frustrating. It puts about 50 construction workers out of a job. But about 200 people are involved in this some way -- designers, engineers, vendors, delivery folks. It's going to be a hardship on them."
– Kevin Klein, Cherry Capital Airport Director, Associated Press, July 26, 2011
“The longer it goes on, the worse it affects us.”
– Bob Graf, contractor for Palm Springs International Airport, Desert Sun, July 26, 2011
“We were informed Friday to stop all construction activity… The scary portion for us is the indefinite nature of all this”
– Dan Anello, project manager at Oakland International Airport, San Francisco Chronicle , July 26, 2011
“The shutdown affected all airport divisions…The folks I normally deal with have been furloughed. Any questions or things we have to do are on hold until this is resolved.”
– Rich Nuttall, Denver Airport Manager, Telluride News, July 26, 2011
“We had already bidded and awarded the contract and most of that cash would have stayed in the local economy, so there is an economic impact.”
– Cindi Martin, Glacier Park International Airport Director, Daily Inter Lake, July 26, 2011
“Our airports are not only our most important resources for moving goods and people, they are critical to creating jobs and putting Americans back to work…we need Congress to pass extension legislation for the FAA now.”
–Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, Our Weekly, July 25, 2011
“We seem to be being hijacked by a completely ego-driven and frankly ridiculous fight in Washington,”
– Annise Parker, Houston Mayor, KHOU 11 News, July 26, 2011.
“It's inaction like this that's hurting our economy that everyone is working so hard to improve. Laying all these employees off, stopping this project, delaying grant money that's already been awarded, it only trickles down to hurt our economy even more.”
–Luzerne County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla, Citizen’s Voice, July 27, 2011
“It's very important that the people in Washington get back to work and get this bill passed so the tower is completed and the working-class people get back to work.”
– Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, Citizen’s Voice, July 27, 2011