By AOPA ePublishing staff
Pilot concerns about the planned closure of the Beaumont (Texas) Tracon will be addressed as the facility’s functions are consolidated into the Houston Tracon, the FAA promised during a March 11 public meeting.
At the gathering, the FAA told pilots they would receive 24-hour terminal radar services and clearances following the consolidation, two services currently available only part-time at Southeast Texas Regional Airport (BPT). In addition, at AOPA’s request, the Houston Tracon will have a position dedicated to BPT from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and the FAA will continue to provide radar surveillance, or ASR, approaches. The agency had planned to discontinue the ASR approaches but ultimately decided to retain them in response to pilot comments.
The FAA also will keep the area’s congressional delegation informed, with reports on progress and issues related to the consolidation to be delivered every 30 days.
The meeting was held after Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) sent a letter to the FAA in February stating his opposition to the tracon consolidation and requesting additional public meetings to address potential safety issues. AOPA had urged pilots to tell the FAA about possible problems with the tracon consolidation and to attend last week’s meeting.
AOPA Regional Representative Shelly de Zevallos also attended and advised the FAA that the association’s support is dependent on adequate resolution of pilot concerns and safety issues.
March 18, 2008