Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that in a letter dated July 25, 2007 he provided Senator President Lolo Moliga with an update regarding the $2 million which Congress set aside for the construction of a temporary airport tower at the Pago Pago International Airport. Faleomavaega copied his letter to Senator Inouye, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Senators, the Speaker and Representatives. The full text of Faleomavaega’s letter is included below.
Dear Mr. President:
In response to your recent inquiry about the $2 million which Congress set aside for the construction of a temporary airport tower, I am enclosing a letter of July 20, 2007 from the US Department of Transportation as a follow up to my meeting of April 23, 2007 with Federal Aviation Administration officials to discuss options available to the American Samoa Government (ASG) to establish airport traffic control tower (ATCT) services at the Pago Pago International Airport.
As noted in the letter, the FAA is able to enter into an Other Transactions Agreement to transfer the funds to ASG for use in establishing an ATCT. Once constructed, this tower will then be the responsibility of and solely owned by the American Samoa Government.
The FAA has also indicated that it believes that a very basic control tower could be established well within the funding amount of $2 million. In addition, the remaining funds could be made available for the training of personnel contracted and hired by ASG to operate the tower and provide the ATCT services.
Enclosed is documentation from the FAA which includes an estimated cost of a tower, a list of contractors who have experience working on airport projects, and the initial FAA design information for the temporary tower which had been previously planned.
Faleomavaega concluded his letter by saying, “In view of the above developments, I will inform the FAA to release the $2 million and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ASG to develop plans and locate a site for the construction of an air traffic control tower within the vicinity of the airport.”