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Senator Barbara Boxer Calls for Long-Term Resolution to FAA Crisis

Press Releases, Airport
August 23rd, 2011

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
August 23, 2011

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer Calls for Long-Term Resolution to FAA Crisis

Senator Boxer Visits Oakland International Airport

Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin speaking at an Oakland International Airport press conference with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to urge Congress to provide a speedy and long-term resolution to the FAA crisis. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer speaking at Oakland International Airport with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Port Commission President Pamela Calloway, Port Commissioner Victor Uno, Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Josie Camacho along with dozens of other community and labor leaders.
(left) Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin speaking at an Oakland International Airport press conference with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to urge Congress to provide a speedy and long-term resolution to the FAA crisis.
(right) U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer speaking at Oakland International Airport with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Port Commission President Pamela Calloway, Port Commissioner Victor Uno, Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Josie Camacho along with dozens of other community and labor leaders.

Oakland, Calif. – August 23, 2011 – At Oakland International Airport (OAK), in a news conference today, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) called for Congress to provide a speedy and long-term solution to the FAA crisis. The partial FAA shutdown that delayed $131 million in California airport construction projects, including OAK’s control tower, put 74,000 workers across the country out of work. The FAA shutdown ended with an agreement that lasts only through September 16, 2011. The Senate passed its long-term FAA reauthorization in February, and subsequently appointed conferees which included Senator Boxer. Senator Boxer called on House Speaker John Boehner to quickly appoint House conferees to an FAA conference committee so that issues between the two houses on a long-term FAA reauthorization can be resolved.

“We desperately need a long-term FAA bill,” said Senator Boxer. “Not only are 74,000 jobs on the line when the temporary agreement expires in just a few weeks, but a long-term solution would create or protect more than 200,000 jobs modernizing our nation’s airports with a new air traffic control system.”

Last year (2010) more than 9.5 million passengers passed through OAK, flying a dozen airlines to and from 32 cities domestically and abroad. Over five-hundred thousand tons of cargo and nine-thousand tons of U.S. mail passed through OAK.

"Cargo and tourism activity at Oakland International Airport contribute about half of the 73,000 jobs generated by the Port of Oakland across the greater Northern California region," noted Port Commission President Pamela Calloway. "We appreciate Senator Boxer highlighting the importance of FAA authorization and its link to job-creation engines like the Port of Oakland."

"We need Congress to come together quickly on a comprehensive solution to FAA funding so that this tower project and other infrastructure projects at the Oakland International Airport can keep moving," added Port Executive Director Omar Benjamin. "We will continue to work diligently with all stakeholders to advocate for swift action on FAA reauthorization and other job-creating bills that are pending before Congress."

The new 236-foot FAA air traffic control tower when completed will be a state-of-the-art facility, incorporating significant green systems including solar power, geothermal heating, and rainwater storage. The tower is scheduled for completion in 2013 and was funded by the federal stimulus act to provide good-paying construction jobs.

About the Port of Oakland, CA, USA:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports nearly 50,000 jobs in the region and over 800,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Rosemary Barnes, Airport Spokesperson
Oakland International Airport
510-563-2892
rbarnes@portoakland.com