Mr. Chairman, I am strongly a proponent of this amendment. I represent southeast Texas. We have a TRACON at Houston Intercontinental Airport. We have one in Beaumont, 90 miles away. And I am not convinced that the consolidation of these two TRACONs in Houston is a good idea for safety.
I'm also concerned about the fact that we have more and more planes in the air, but yet the FAA wants to have fewer and fewer facilities in the United States to control that aviation.
I'm also concerned, as the gentleman from Florida is, about security. Down in southeast Texas, what I represent, I represent the number one refinery in the United States, the number two refinery in the United States. Twenty-two percent of the Nation's aviation fuel is produced in my area.
And if there was some tragic event, some terrorist attack on Houston and the Intercontinental Airport, who would be controlling the skies? Some TRACON unit in Oklahoma City and New Mexico? I think not. I think it is good that we have two TRACONs in the area.
And, lastly, I am not convinced that this would save any money. Just as we went through with the BRAC military base closures, we are finding that that did not save the taxpayers any money, especially with Ellington Field in Houston.
So for all those reasons I think this is a wise amendment for safety and security, and I thank the gentleman for yielding.
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