WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, has authored a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration advocating Tobyhanna Army Depot as the location of the FAA’s Integrated Control Facility for air traffic control. The new site must be within 150 miles of New York City, but currently, locations outside of New York State are not being considered. Congressmen Tom Marino, PA-10, and Matt Cartwright, PA-17, also signed the letter.
“We would like to express our continued concerns about the exclusion of federal installations in Pennsylvania in the FAA’s request for information,” the Members of Congress wrote to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD), for example, is just one facility in Pennsylvania that meets all of the relocation criteria outlined by the FAA except the arbitrary limitation based on state boundaries.”
The Members noted that Tobyhanna, which is “located 81.3 miles from downtown New York City, contains an operational radar and antenna range campus. Additionally, TYAD already has a 240,000 square foot building available with the opportunity for expansion.”
The Pennsylvania Representatives argued that Tobyhanna or other sites would offer better surroundings for workers.
“Many locations in Pennsylvania offer a significantly lower cost-of-living standard for current and future employees,” they wrote.
The three reminded Administrator Huerta that he has said he would be open to sites outside of New York.
“Recently, on February 27, 2013, during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation hearing, you testified that you would consider an ICF site outside of the state of New York,” they wrote. “We request that you give equal consideration for the establishment of this facility at the TYAD. Ultimately, we urge the FAA to allow fair competition to determine the best site for the relocation of the ICF without imposing arbitrary limitations based on state boundaries.”
Barletta, Marino and Cartwright requested information on an ongoing analysis the FAA is conducting, including an opinion survey of current employees, while noting that the issue is also important as the fiscal crisis continues.
“The federal government must eliminate federal overspending,” they wrote. “This begins by making commonsense leasing and procurement decisions regarding federal buildings.”