In further action to reopen the DC-3 to transient traffic, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) sent a letter to DOT Secretary Norman Mineta, urging him to support AOPA's petition to reopen the DC-3. These are the three airports in the Washington, D.C., area still heavily restricted in operations since the 9/11 terror attacks. Mikulski, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate transportation subcommittee, and Sarbanes, dean of the delegation and a top Democrat on the Budget Committee, urged Mineta to "thoroughly review SFAR 94 and give full and careful consideration for rulemaking as proposed by the AOPA petition."
Mikulski and Sarbanes' letter eloquently pleads the consequence: "If these restrictions are not dealt with soon, it is likely that these airports will not survive. This would be a tragedy for all three, especially College Park, the oldest continuing operating airport in the world." Last month, Sarbanes used the bully pulpit of his position on the Budget Committee to pursue the issue of the restrictions on the airports and their financial losses with DOT Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson. AOPA President Phil Boyer summed up, "We are committed to freeing the DC-3, and so is every member of the Maryland delegation. Homeland Security's chokehold on these airports has got to go."