FAA: More critical aviation projects come to halt due to Congressional inaction
US Federal Aviation Administration issued (26-Jul-2011) additional “stop work orders” to construction and technology contractors for US airport and air traffic control modernisation projects. "Dozens" of major projects, including long-term runway safety initiatives and NextGen air traffic control research and testing were halted. US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt repeated calls for Congress to pass FAA reauthorisation authority, allowing 4000 employees to resume work and the FAA to resume collection of USD200 million per week in excises and taxes. Projects halted include:
- Runway Status Lights: USD250 million in contracts to design and install runway status lights at airports including Seattle-Tacoma, Houston, Phoenix Sky Harbor, New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles International, Newark Liberty, Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood, Chicago O’Hare, Charlotte Douglas, Washington-Dulles, Minneapolis-St Paul and Las Vegas McCarran.
- Air traffic tower earthquake protection: USD20 million in construction and engineering contracts to strengthen air traffic towers in earthquake prone areas.
- Weather Research: USD14 million in projects to research NextGen weather technology systems for air traffic facilities and for aircraft cockpits.
- En Route Automation Modernisation: Putting on hold an aggressive testing and deployment schedule for the new automation system for 18 more facilities due to the lack of funding and employee furloughs. [more]