Durbin Statement On FAA Review Of Security And Emergency Response Protocols At Air Traffic Control Center Facilities

[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the results of a review of security and emergency response times at air traffic control facilities following the sabotage of at the air traffic control facility in Aurora, Illinois earlier this year. At the request of Durbin and other members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, the Department of Transportation Inspector General is also currently conducting an investigation into the FAA’s emergency protocol and mitigation measures.

“The review released today by the FAA will help inform our ongoing efforts to improve the protocols, emergency plans, and security measures the agency has in place at air traffic control facilities across the country,” said Durbin. “I also look forward to receiving the results of the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s report that I requested following the incident at the Aurora facility last month. Both FAA and DOT need to do all they can to make certain we do not find ourselves in that situation again.”

Last month, Durbin was joined by U.S. Representatives Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) in calling for an investigation after a fire broke out in the air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois causing the cancellation and delay of hundreds of flights in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway International airports. This was the second fire to disrupt traffic at the Aurora center this year. Full text of that letter is available here.

In October, Durbin, Foster and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on a visit to the damaged Aurora FAA facility. Huerta met with the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to provide an update on the recovery process and to tour the damaged area of the facility.