Florida Representatives Lead The Charge
Although Democrats have traditionally been opposed to these types of measures, this amendment has bilateral support and was sparked by the FAA's intention to move the Palm Beach TRACON to Miami. Two Republicans, Mark Foley and Clay Shaw, joined Democrat Robert Wexler in backing the amendment, which was proposed by Alcee Hastings, another Florida Democrat. In a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Hastings said putting all of South Florida's TRACONs under one roof would be a risky venture. "If a terrorist attack or natural disaster were to strike the Miami TRACON, then all three major international airports would lose their approach radar systems," the congressmen wrote. The amendment would also cancel the proposed shifting of the Boise TRACON 300 miles south to Salt Lake City. The move is tied to the construction of a new tower at Boise Airport and the FAA claims it will save about $2.5 million over 25 years. Local officials told the Idaho Statesman they dispute the cost savings and are worried about the effect on safety in the mountainous area.