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U.S. Representative Maxine Waters Sends Letter to FAA Calling for Halt to Plan That Would Close Los Angeles Air Traffic Office

July 15, 2009
Press Release

United States Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35) yesterday issued the following letter to Marion Blakey, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calling for a halt to plans that would consolidate regional offices of the Air Traffic Organization in Anchorage, AK, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Kansas City, MO, Yew York, NY, and Los Angeles, CA.  Twenty-three Members of Congress from the House and Senate signed the letter, the text of which is below:

Marion C. Blakey, Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C., 20591

            Re:       ATO Reorganization of Service Area Offices

Dear Administrator Blakey:

 We are writing to urge you to suspend the reduction in force planned for the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Organization (ATO) regional offices.

 It is imperative that the nation's air traffic move as safely and efficiently as possible, and we are willing to work with you to ensure that the FAA has the resources it needs for effective air traffic operations. We are greatly concerned, however, by the FAA's restructuring plan because it will reduce the number of personnel with technical expertise in air traffic operations at the FAA's regional offices in Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New York and Los Angeles.

 We have recently obtained an August, 2005 Booz-Allen report, "ATO Structure and Process Evaluation--Final Report," which analyzes the restructuring plan's strategies and goals, and includes recommendations for its design and implementation.  In our view, the report does not prove that the reduction in force will result in superior air service at less cost, which is the primary justification for the ATO restructuring initiative.   Nor is it clear whether the FAA is adopting the report's recommendations.   

 This issue demands a full and complete review before reductions in force should be considered. Therefore, in the interest of ensuring appropriate Congressional oversight, we request that you suspend the planned reduction in force at the ATO offices and brief our offices regarding the FAA's implementation of the Booz-Allen recommendations and the current state of the consolidation.

 We appreciate your attention to our concerns and look forward to your response.


Rep. Maxine Waters; Sen. Richard Durbin; Rep. Jan Schakowsky; Sen. Edward M. Kennedy;  Rep. Barney Frank; Sen. John F. Kerry;  Rep. Jane Harman; Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver; Sen. Barbara Boxer; Rep. Gregory W. Meeks; Sen. Barack Obama; Rep. John F. Tierney; Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald; Rep. Alcee Hastings; Rep. Stephen Lynch; Rep. Diane Watson; Rep. Joe Baca; Rep. James P. McGovern; Rep. William Delahunt; Rep. Brad Sherman; Rep. Linda Sánchez; Rep. Dennis Moore; Rep. Xavier Becerra

cc:  The Honorable Maria Cino, Acting Secretary of Transportation