Two Dallas area airports may receive emergency state transportation funds in an effort to stave off the effects of federal sequestration, the Texas Department of Transportation announced Wednesday night. The funds – a combined $7 million for airports statewide, according to TxDOT spokesman Mark Cross – still need to be voted on by the Texas Transportation Commission. Cross did not immediately know the funding amounts for Dallas Executive and Collin County Regional airports, the two Dallas-area airports that would be buoyed.
Fort Worth Spinks and Grand Prairie Municipal don’t need the emergency funds as their funding is safe through September, Cross said. He did not know the exact reason for the differentiation. New Braunfels, Brownsville, Easterwood Field College Station, TSTC Waco, Lone Star Executive Houston, Georgetown Muni, San Marcos Muni, Sugarland Regional, Stinson Muni San Antonio, Tyler Pounds Regional and Victoria Regional would also receive funds, if approved.
“Safety is the primary reason we felt a need to take immediate action for the air travelers and business aircraft that use these airports,” said Fred Underwood, Texas Transportation commissioner, in a statement. “I am proud of our leaders for taking this extraordinary measure to ensure that those relying on these municipal airports will be able to depart and arrive safely and efficiently.”
Control towers at Dallas Executive and Collin County Regional were expected to shut down April 7, the Morning News reported last week. The emergency request came at the behest of Governor Rick Perry.
“While President Obama has chosen to make sequestration as painful as possible, I cannot with good conscience allow him to put his political agenda ahead of public safety,” Perry said in a letter to state Transportation Commission chairman Ted Houghton, according to the American- Statesman.