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Graves Hails FAA Decision to Keep Rosecrans Air Traffic Control Tower Open

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Sam Graves (MO-06) today hailed the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision to keep the air traffic control tower at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph, MO, open.  Rosecrans is one of 24 federal contract towers previously slated for closure that the FAA announced would instead remain open, according to the agency.  The FAA determined that closing the tower at Rosecrans “would have a negative impact on the national interest.” 

“I believe it was the right call to keep the tower at Rosecrans open,” said Congressman Graves.  “The presence of 139thAirlift Wing makes the airport indispensable to our national security.  I am pleased that the FAA came to this realization.  I still believe the FAA could find other areas to cut rather than closing many of the remaining control towers on the list, given that report after report has shown fraud, waste, and abuse in government programs, including at the FAA, which spends $500 million on consultants and $200 million on travel annually.”

Congressman Graves authored a letter last week with colleagues Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Billy Long (MO-07), and Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asking them to explain how they reached their initial decision to close over 200 towers, particularly given concerns regarding public safety. 

Graves also led a discussion of the House General Aviation Caucus on Tuesday with actor Harrison Ford to draw attention to the issue.  At the event, Ford noted both the public safety and job loss impact of closing towers, saying that “the consequences of this are vast” and urging the FAA “to find the funds in their very large budget” to forestall these closures.  Graves is Co-Chair of the Caucus.

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