Bangor International Airport’s overnight air traffic control shift won’t be eliminated

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff
Posted May 08, 2013, at 12:54 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine —The overnight shift at Bangor International Airport’s air traffic control tower will not be eliminated by the Federal Aviation Administration, Maine’s congressional delegation announced Wednesday.

“We are tremendously pleased that the FAA has decided not to eliminate the overnight shift at BIA,” Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree said in a joint statement.

Bangor’s overnight shift of air traffic controllers had been on the FAA’s chopping block because of federal cuts known as sequestration.

“We’re very pleased the FAA made this decision,” Airport Director Tony Caruso said. “We thank Maine’s delegation and certainly the City Council as well for supporting us through this.”

In early April, Maine’s delegates collaborated to send a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA administrator Michael Huerta expressing opposition to the FAA’s possible elimination of the overnight shift.

“Given the national significance of Bangor’s airport to both civilian and military aviation, maintaining those hours and the airport’s full-time air traffic control operations is in the best interest of the flying public,” the delegates’ statement read, “and ensures that our servicemen and women can continue their national security missions without being placed at unnecessary risk.”

Bangor’s airport is the first major American airport encountered by aircraft approaching the United States eastbound, and the last heading westbound toward Europe.

“That was certainly part of our message, given the significant role that Bangor plays in the air transportation system,” said Caruso.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2013/05/08/news/bangor/bangor-international-airports-overnight-air-traffic-control-shift-wont-be-eliminated/ printed on August 23, 2014