News Article - February 25, 2008

  Two area congressmen, saying they were concerned about safety at Philadelphia International Airport, blasted the Federal Aviation Administration today, calling it a "rogue agency out of control." U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D., Pa.) and Rep. Rob Andrews (D., N.J.) were joined by several air traffic controllers at Ridley Park Borough Hall.

   The lawmakers were critical of remarks they said were made recently to area media by Jim Peters, the FAA's regional spokesman. The congressmen said Peters suggested that air traffic controllers with complaints should find another profession. Peters could not be immediately reached for comment. "If you blow the whistle because you've seen something wrong . . . you should be rewarded, not punished," said Andrews.

   The relationship between the FAA and the community has been severely strained since the implementation in December of an air-traffic plan that added increased air traffic over communities in Delaware and Gloucester Counties. Speaking to a crowd of about 75 at Ridley Park Borough Hall, both Sestak and Andrews said the issue goes well beyond noise pollution and the affected communities. "They have been arrogant, contemptuous in their comments, sarcastic at best," said Sestak. "They are really a rogue agency."

Source - Philadelphia Inquirer