Bill Would Stop ATC Consolidations


A bill tabled by Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., would put a moratorium on the consolidation of air traffic control facilities pending a review of the process by which the consolidations are undertaken. The bill comes following a high-profile spat over folding the Palm Springs radar facility into the Southern California terminal radar approach control (TRACON) near San Diego. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says its not opposed to facility consolidations “where they make sense,” but the union claims the FAA is consolidating facilities based on economic considerations alone and not consulting with other stakeholders. Meanwhile, the fracas over Palm Springs radar took a slight twist on Friday. Technical problems at the SoCal TRACON caused minor traffic disruptions throughout Southern California but all was normal in Palm Springs, where the radar facility will keep operating until June 7, when the consolidation is to occur. The glitch at San Diego did nothing to sway the FAA in its consolidation plans, however, and moving day is still planned as scheduled.