FAA Defends Consolidation
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told reporters that other TRACON consolidations have been accomplished with no impact on safety and they do save money. She also discounted the Florida delegation's fears about hurricanes and other threats to service. "When we build a facility in an area prone to natural disasters, we make the facility capable of handling those kinds of events," Brown said. "We also have procedures in place so other facilities can handle the air space that that facility handles." The National Air Traffic Controllers Association disagreed with Brown, saying the consolidations threaten safety. "It's a win for the residents of South Florida," said Shane Ahern, South Florida president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, who opposes the FAA proposal because of safety issues. "They can't concentrate risk by concentrating facilities in a hurricane-prone area." NATCA headquarters in Washington also issued a press release applauding the amendment.