CIRA officials applauds move by Congress to restore air traffic control funding

By WEEK Producer

CIRA officials applauds move by Congress to restore air traffic control funding

April 26, 2013 Updated Apr 26, 2013 at 12:32 PM CDT

There could soon be some good news for Bloomington-Normal air travelers before the busy summer vacation period.

The Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority (BNAA) applauds the congressional action taken by the Senate Thursday night and the House Friday in approving a bill allowing the FAA to shift funds within the agency to avoid air traffic control cuts impacting the nation’s aviation system.

The Reducing Flight Delays Act 2013 gives the FAA additionally funding and budget flexibility to address the sequestration induced cuts to the air traffic control system. This included furloughs of air traffic controllers and the elimination of funding for 149 contract towers, including the air traffic control tower at the Central Illinois Regional Airport . The closures of control towers are set to take place on June 15.

The legislation still need the signature of President Obama. The BNAA is cautiously optimistic.

“We will monitor the situation as it unfolds in the next week and at the same time continue our efforts to reach out to our Congressional delegation for assistance with both the short and long term resolution to our air traffic control tower funding.”, said Paul Harmon, Chairman of the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority. “We appreciate the support of our representation in DC as we navigate through this complicated issue.”