Bay Area Airports Cheer Compromises To Reopen FAA

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) – The three major airports in the Bay Area all have projects that have been impacted by the Federal Aviation Administration partial shutdown. So word of a bipartisan agreement to end the stalemate is very welcome news.

The biggest impact of the FAA partial shutdown has been felt at the Oakland International Airport, where work on a new air traffic control tower was stopped and 60 construction workers were sent home. At Mineta San Jose International Airport, Communications Director David Vossbrink said that progress on a new taxi-way has also been put on hold.

“We were at risk of having the project delayed indefinitely, and as we get into the winter season that could affect its construction schedule into next year,” said Vossbrink.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

He said word that the FAA offices in Burlingame should reopen soon is wonderful news.

San Francisco International Airport has a new tower in the planning pipeline along with taxiway and ramp projects. However, SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said that without a functioning FAA they wouldn’t have been able to move forward.

“It’s just moving that logjam and getting things going through the chain so we can get projects moving and get people working again,” said McCarron.

On Thursday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Congress has reached a bipartisan compromise to end the partial shutdown that has idled 74,000 transportation and construction workers.

Under the deal, the Senate would approve a House bill extending the agency’s operating authority through mid-September. That legislation includes a provision cutting $16.5 million in air service subsidies to rural communities. Republicans had insisted on those cuts.

But they may become moot. Democrats say they expect the White House to effectively waive or negate the cuts. And that would let service continue to 13 communities affected by the provision.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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