WASHINGTON D.C. (WKZO) -- Congress’s failure to pass an extension of the FAA budget has now hit close to home. It's put 4,000 non-essential FAA workers on furlough and halted work on projects worth $2.5-billion, including the new control tower at Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport.
Contractors have been told to halt work on the 14.2 million dollar project.
Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood says Congress needs to get its act together and act. He says Congress has been dithering over proper funding for his department since 2007. It may delay use of the new tower, but it won’t disrupt current operations.
The FAA no longer has the manpower to collect airline taxes, which pay for that construction, but air traffic controllers are still on duty.
It’s become a windfall for the airlines. Most are still charging that 10% ticket tax and just pocketing the money, estimated at $200-million a week.