Mayor Villaraigosa calls for passage of FAA reauthorization
Inaction jeopardizes funding
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called on Congress today to quickly reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration’s financial authority, saying inaction jeopardizes funding for critical improvement projects and threatens jobs.
The suspension of the FAA’s ability to spend money and raise taxes means 206 FAA employees who work in Southern California have been furloughed indefinitely, and $5.1 million in FAA grant money for runway improvements at Los Angeles International Airport has been suspended.
Air traffic controllers, who are considered essential employees, will continue working.
“With the heavy summer travel season already under way, we need Congress to pass extension legislation for the FAA now to avoid furloughs for 4,000 employees across the country,” Villaraigosa said. “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.”
LAX is in the fourth year of a $4 billion-plus capital improvement campaign that includes expanding the Tom Bradley International Terminal, replacing the 50-year-old central utility plant that powers much of LAX and adding taxi lanes to make takeoffs and landings more efficient.
The suspension will not affect any of the construction projects under way at LAX, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) spokesman Michael Collins said.
He said LAWA—a proprietary city department that manages its own funding sources and budgets for LAX and two other airports in Van Nuys and Ontario—has already paid up-front project costs with $3 billion in bond money sold over the last three years. But the suspension of the FAA will mean delays in LAWA getting reimbursed for some developments that FAA has committed to pay for.
“It would be good to get this thing resolved,” Collins said. “It’s not a life-or-death matter for airports like LAX, but it’s hugely important for average-size airports.”
About $131.5 million in construction projects at airports across the state are likely to be affected, including a $3.1 million control tower in Palm Springs, according to the FAA.
“Congress needs to do its work,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “If they can’t pass a bill, local construction workers throughout the nation will see their airport projects and paychecks come to a halt. This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.”
By Richie Duchon | City News Service
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Delays were reported at airports in the Southland and around the nation today as a result of the furloughing of air traffic controllers under federal sequestration budget cuts.
The average delay Sunday night was three hours in the Southern California Terminal Radius Approach Control (TRACON), according to National Air Traffic Controllers Association spokesman Doug Church.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A $4 billion modernization effort at LAX could create as many as 39,900 jobs and generate nearly $7 billion for the local economy, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.
About 24,500 construction jobs are expected to be created, and the manufacturing, real estate, financial services and retail industries also would benefit, according to the nonprofit. Even a few agriculture jobs would be created, according to the 45-page report.
WASHINGTON—In one of the most immediate consequences of the pending spending cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration has informed contractors that—lacking any last-minute agreement—the agency will move Monday to close some 168 contractor-staffed air traffic control towers nationwide on April 1, and another 21 towers by Sept. 30, industry officials tell CNN.
Rising about 132 feet above the tarmac, the new Tom Bradley terminal at Los Angeles International Airport—or el-a-ex (LAX), as it is more popularly known—evokes thoughts of a cresting wave breaking to the west. The new terminal is part of a $4.11 billion upgrade of one of the world’s busiest airports.
It could easily be symbolic of the great wave of prosperity and growth that swept over the city during Bradley’s 20-year term as mayor, from 1973 to 1993.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Board of Airport Commissioners voted today to award $5.6 million in grant money to the city of El Segundo for soundproofing of homes and apartments in the Los Angeles International Airport adjacent community.
The grant will be combined with $12.8 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding and will soundproof more than 400 single- and multi-family units affected by takeoffs and landings at LAX.