Hollywood actor and pilot Harrison Ford told The Daily Caller that “accidents are going to happen” when the Federal Aviation Administration closes up to 238 air traffic control towers because of sequester cuts.
Photographers, reporters and fans swarmed Ford as he left the Longworth House Office Building after speaking at a House General Aviation Caucus event.
The Daily Caller asked Ford if the Department of Transportation’s closure of the air traffic control towers has affected his opinion of President Barack Obama’s job performance.
“It’s not a matter of anybody’s job performance,” Ford responded. “I think there are options and choices to be made, and I hope that we can find a mechanism to keep these towers open and to enhance safety for both the commercial traveling public and private aviation and everybody on the ground. Accidents are going to happen if these towers are closed, and I think the human cost is much too high.”
TheDC asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week why his department is closing so many air traffic control towers instead of cutting other areas, like the FAA’s $179 million travel budget.
“We’ve taken a very comprehensive approach here, and what we’ve done is we’ve looked at every contract. We have looked at every expense. We have looked at everything, and we are making reductions everywhere including in travel, and we are trying to save money wherever we possibly can,” LaHood said at the American Public Transportation Association Conference in Washington. (RELATED VIDEO: LaHood says transportation department is making cuts everywhere)
The majority of the towers set to shut down are operated by outside contractors. The FAA has also proposed furloughing workers for up to 11 days. No additional cuts have been announced.