WASHINGTON—US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), as part of a bipartisan group of 34 US Senators, including Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence asking for their support for the Federal Contract Tower (FCT) Program and reforms proposed by Dr. Cassidy that would allow airports like Hammond Northshore Regional Airport to enter into the program.
“The Hammond tower is a critical regional and national asset, serving as the staging area during natural disasters,” said Dr. Cassidy. “When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, hundreds of aircrafts and first responders used Hammond Northshore Regional Airport to aid in rescue and recovery efforts.”
The letter to President-Elect Trump and Vice President-Elect Pence can be read here.
Hammond Northshore Regional Airport Allowance Into FCT Program
Airports in Louisiana support approximately 58,900 jobs, with payroll of nearly $1.8 billion, and produce $6.7 billion in economic impact. Acceptance of the Hammond tower into the FCT Program would greatly benefit Louisiana industries economically as well as alleviate pressure on the MSY tower in New Orleans.
Current law requires the FAA to complete a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) before determining the eligibility for airports to enter into the FCT Program. Since announcing its plans in April 2014, the FAA has failed to complete and implement a revised BCA for the FCT Program.
Dr. Cassidy secured language in the FAA reauthorization bill that would end the agency’s administrative prohibition on determining the airport’s eligibility based solely on the unfinished BCA. Currently, more than 30 air traffic control towers are waiting on the FAA to complete the BCA for acceptance into the FCT Program, including Hammond Northshore Regional Airport.
Dr. Cassidy has been a longtime advocate, urging the FAA to end this prohibition. Read the letter he led with Senators Vitter, Cornyn, Portman and Wicker here.
Dr. Cassidy also led a letter with the Louisiana delegation in October urging the FAA to accept Hammond Airport into the FCT program. Read that letter here.