Skimkus discusses air traffic controller furloughs


Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

A local congressman is weighing in on lawmakers' decision to end the furloughs of air traffic controllers.

While the congressional action put a stop to those furloughs, the measure did not include specific language to save more than 140 small air traffic control towers slated for closure.

Representative John Shimkus of southern Illinois says Congress gave the FAA the flexibility to move money around in their budget.

He believes the agency could find the funds to save the contract towers, like those in Paducah, Carbondale, or Marion, if they really wanted to.  He says agencies, like the FAA, need to budget better.

"Let's get the federal government starting to do a better job of deciding credible expenses with the role of the federal government versus identifying where do we waste money," Rep. Shimkus, a Republican, said.

The week-long furloughs caused delays to more than 7,000 flights nationwide.