Poe Announces FAA to Suspend Consolidation of

Southeast Texas Regional Airport

Postpones TRACON merger with Houston Intercontinental Airport

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announced today the FAA informed his office they will suspend consolidation of Southeast Texas Regional Airports Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities with those of Houstons George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

I am glad the FAA listened to our concerns and decided to postpone phase 1 of the consolidation, which would have moved Beaumonts airspace to Houston Intercontinental Airport on the midnight shift September 27th, said Poe. My office and the citizens of Jefferson County have repeatedly asked them to step back and reassess this issue. I thank all the citizens of Jefferson County who came out to the public meeting in Port Arthur last month and showed the FAA we support our airport.

Dean Hall of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association also welcomes the decision, NATCA applauds the FAA's decision to acknowledge stakeholders' immediate concerns by placing the transfer of Beaumont's Airspace to Houston TRACON on hold. We commend Congressman Poe for facilitating this decision. Many issues, including a shortage of air traffic controllers, remain unresolved, and we urge the FAA to work closely with air traffic controllers, pilots, aviation officials, community leaders and elected officials as they move forward in considering the transfer of Beaumont's airspace."

Also this week, the House of Representatives will consider the FAA Reauthorization Bill. If the FAA Reauthorization Bill passes, the FAA would be under new requirements to create an evaluation process for all future consolidations that could require inclusion of stakeholder comments before any consolidation could occur.

During the past 20 years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has consolidated TRACON facilities in New York, Southern California, Chicago, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth, Northern California, Atlanta, and the Baltimore/Washington area.

The FAA announced earlier this year that efforts were underway to address constraints being encountered with existing airspace configurations and airspace demand for the entire Gulf Coast region. They planned a new airspace configuration for the Houston TRACON extending the boundaries and encompassing the Southeast Texas Airport TRACON facilities.

Congressman Poe will continue working with community stakeholders to hold the FAA accountable for any steps toward consolidation concerning Southeast Texas Regional Airport. Congressman Poe serves on the Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.