Last week, contractors across the country were told to stop work on critical airport modernization projects after Congress failed to pass legislation giving the FAA the authority necessary for work to continue. Dozens of “stop work orders” were 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 beginning on July 23. The Association of General Contractors estimates that as many as 70,000 construction workers are unable to work because of Congress’ inaction. Stopping work on these projects could significantly increase the ultimate costs of construction for taxpayers.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt expressed disappointment today after Congress adjourned for the week without passing a clean FAA reauthorization extension. Because of Congress’ inaction, many states will have to bear a significant economic burden and many airport projects will be halted.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt announced today that effective immediately the FAA will place an additional air traffic controller on the midnight shift at 27 control towers around the country that are currently staffed with only one controller during that time.
Since 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Strategic Plan has been the product of extensive collaboration among leaders, industry stakeholders, the flying public, and employees. Each year, these constituencies have been solicited for their input, and each year their collaboration has helped make the plan better than it otherwise would have been. However, there has never been a way for all of these constituencies to join together in an online conversation in a single space. Typically, the plan would have been sent in hardcopy to industry representatives, posted on the FAA intranet and displayed on the FAA Web page with a “suggestion box” or email address to submit comments. In 2011, FAA was seeking a new way to engage in this dialogue.