Congressional Central Florida Democrats: Time to Replace TRACON at Orlando International Airport

Three Democrats in the Florida congressional delegation–U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto–sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calling on it to invest in a replacement building for the Central Florida Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility (F11) located at Orlando International Airport (MCO).

“After the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, I inspected the Orlando TRACON center and spoke with the air safety staff there. I found that the building was nearly falling apart. The superb team at the Orlando TRACON are doing a heroic job to keep the traveling public safe despite growing technical limitations, and it is critical that the FAA use the funding we passed in the bipartisan infrastructure plan to replace this facility and keep the public safe,” Demings said.

“After visiting the Orlando TRACON center and meeting with air safety staff, it became clear that the facility poses a safety threat to passengers and staff at MCO. I was proud to vote in favor of the Build Back Better Infrastructure Law to provide the FAA with millions of dollars in funding, and urge the FAA to ensure the safety of MCO passengers and staff by replacing this facility,” Soto said.

“Orlando’s Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) Facility manages one of the busiest airspaces in the country, which is used by tens of millions of passengers each year. TRACONs are critically important for safely managing airspace, overseeing departures as well as descent, approach, and arrivals at large airports. And yet, the Orlando facility is outdated and in disrepair. This facility serves nine local airports, including the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in my district. That’s why I’m joining my Central Florida colleagues in urging the Federal Aviation Administration to replace this facility, so it can continue to do its indispensable work,” said Murphy.

“The Central Florida TRACON was built in 1983 and has become an outdated facility. It is tasked with controlling an airspace that includes the 7th busiest airport in the country… We recently toured F11 and promoted funding in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We were alarmed by the conditions FAA personnel, including professional controllers and Airway Transportation System specialists, are required to endure while ensuring the safety of the traveling public. A single emergency or catastrophic incident would be devastating to the passengers, crew, controllers, safety specialists, and their families. At an estimated $60 million dollars, it is critical for the FAA to replace one of the country’s busiest TRACON facilities,” they wrote.

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