Rockefeller Statement on DCA Silent Air Traffic Control Tower

March 24, 2011

Chairman RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement today following an incident at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) where two passenger jets were forced to land without clearance or guidance from the control tower.

“The incident at Ronald Reagan National Airport raises serious concerns,” said Rockefeller. “It’s completely unacceptable for the traveling public to be put in danger because of a controller going silent. I am encouraged Secretary LaHood took swift action to provide additional staff for the Air Traffic Control Tower and has asked the FAA to conduct a broad evaluation of controller staffing. This is obviously needed and my FAA bill mandates the same action. Maintaining the safety of our nation’s aviation system remains one of my highest priorities—this is why we absolutely must pass a long-term FAA bill. Safety should always come first.”