The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

April 26, 2013

Airport official praises ending to air traffic control furloughs

JOPLIN, Mo. — With flight delays mounting, Congress on Friday approved legislation to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers.

Steve Stockam, manager of the Joplin Regional Airport, said the measure passed by the Senate on Thursday “addresses our concerns — in the short term.”

The bill includes funding to avert the closing of 149 air traffic control towers that were to be shuttered June 15, Stockam said. The Joplin tower was on the clock for a Sept. 30 closing.

“Obviously, we want to put controllers back to work because the furloughs have slowed down traffic,” said Stockam. “We even experienced it here because flights coming out of Dallas were delayed.”

Under the legislation, which the Senate passed without even a roll call vote, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, Senate officials said the available funds should be ample enough to prevent the closure of small airport towers around the country. The FAA has said it will shut down the towers as it makes its share of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts — known as the sequester — that took effect last month at numerous government agencies.

The Senate acted as the FAA said there had been at least 863 flights delayed on Wednesday “attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough.”

Stockam said the specific language to protect the threatened towers had been removed from the bill, “but it’s implied and the funding is there.”

“It’s a good sign,” he said. “At least Congress has made the effort and the mechanism is there to restore the services. But it’s not a long-term fix. Joplin’s much more interested in next year’s budget, because that’s what’s going to affect us after Sept. 30.”

Stockam said he is hoping for passage of a bill sponsored by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt that would keep essential federal employees on the job.

In a statement released Friday, Blunt said, “Moving forward, we need to pass the Essential Services Act to ensure critical federal employees like air traffic controllers must report to work and keep America moving.”

House Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma said FAA employees “are being used as pawns by this (Obama) administration to be able to implement the maximum amount of pain on the American people when it does not have to be this way.”

The White House and congressional Democrats vociferously dispute such claims.

Joplin earlier had looked at joining one of several lawsuits that had been filed against the FAA and federal Department of Transportation concerning the proposed tower closings.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cost estimates

Officials estimate it would cost slightly more than $200 million to restore air traffic controllers to full staffing, and another $50 million to keep open smaller air traffic towers around the country that the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed closing.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Friday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 17, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Thursday’s Joplin Globe.

    April 16, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink.jpg 283 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 462 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea’s southern coast on Wednesday, leaving more than 280 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • r091813cityhall.jpg PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

  • PART THREE: Joplin City Council investigation documents

    As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.

    The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.

    April 16, 2014

Facebook
Poll

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
NDN Video