Tompkins County Suing F-A-A Over Loss of Air Traffic Controllers
Tompkins County has filed its lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration; the county is looking to overturn the agency’s decision to stop paying for air traffic controllers at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.
The petition filed this week in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit names the five people who work at the tower as parties to the legal action, as well as the county itself.
The lawsuit comes after The FAA announced on March 5th that it would discontinue paying for contractors to run control towers at certain airports around the country. It was one of the measures the FAA is taking to comply with spending reductions under the budget sequestration process.
Officials insist flying will remain safe, as pilots will be in contact with controllers at other airports and can contact one another on a shared radio frequency near the airport.
Tompkins County, officials argue that if passengers feel unsafe they may abandon the local airport for other regional airports, in turn that would lead the airlines to abandon Ithaca.