House Rejects TRACON Consolidations

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The House dealt a significant blow (psychologically, anyway) to the FAA's cost-cutting plans last week when it included language in the agency's appropriations bill that would prevent it from spending money to combine terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities. The FAA says it can save millions of dollars a year by having larger and fewer TRACONs but the political fallout that has ensued may prevent the move. Although a similar measure would have to be passed by the Senate, there are indications of similar support there. At least one member of the Senate's appropriation's committee, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), supports such an amendment and he believes the majority of his colleagues will also. "The House amendment showed it had strong, nationwide support ... and that really helps its chances in the Senate," Dan Whiting, a spokesman for Craig, told the Idaho Statesman.