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Honorable Tim Walz

Representing the 1st District of MINNESOTA

Klobuchar, Franken, Walz Urge FAA to Expedite Process to Allow Rochester International to Make Critical Upgrades

Nov 1, 2013
Press Release

FAA’s delay in completing a study is preventing upgrades to the landing system that will prevent flight delays and improve service at the airport

WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representative Tim Walz urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to expedite the process to allow Rochester International Airport to make critical upgrades. In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, the members noted that the FAA’s delay in completing a business study is preventing upgrades to the landing system that will prevent flight delays and improve service at the airport.

"Rochester is the third largest city in the state and is home to the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest private employer and their laboratories have to delay or cancel over 50,000 medical tests a year because of weather-related flight delays," the members said in the letter. "We request that Rochester International Airport’s business case study be expedited so that this crucial economic infrastructure can be upgraded with all due haste."

The full text of the letter is below.

 

Honorable Michael P. Huerta
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1022
Washington, DC 20591

Dear Administrator Huerta:

We write on behalf of the Rochester International Airport regarding the delays in the completion of the business case study for a Category-II Instrument Landing System (CAT-II ILS). Currently, the case study resides with the FAA - Navigational Services Department and is one of many steps involved with the runway ILS upgrade process.

We hope that the FAA – Navigational Services Department will complete the necessary business study in a timely fashion and allow the FAA – Air Traffic Central Service Area to initiate the reimbursable agreement process.  It is the hope of the Rochester International Airport that they will be able to open a competitive bidding process for the project early next spring and move forward with the runway upgrade and bring benefits to the local economy. 

Until upgraded to the CAT-II ILS, the current CAT-I ILS will mean continued flight delays, which can have a major economic impact on Rochester, Minnesota. Rochester is the third largest city in the state and is home to the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest private employer and their laboratories have to delay or cancel over 50,000 medical tests a year because of weather related flight delays with the CAT-I ILS.

We request that Rochester International Airport’s business case study be expedited so that this crucial economic infrastructure can be upgraded with all due haste. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

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