Closure Would Impact 60+ Workers, Could Impact Safety In Region / Senator Casey Urges TSA Administrator to Reconsider Initial Decision / Air Marshals Play Crucial Safety Role in Region that Is Home to Military Assets, Nuclear Plant
Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to John Pistole, the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), calling on TSA to reverse course on a plan to close the Pittsburgh Federal Air Marshals Office. TSA’s initial decision was announced this week and would impact 60+ workers and their families and could have an impact on safety in the region. In his letter, Senator Casey cited the region’s military assets and proximity to a nuclear power plant in urging Administrator Pistole to keep the Air Marshals office in Western Pennsylvania.
“I’m calling on the TSA to reverse course and commit to keeping a federal Air Marshals office in Pittsburgh,” Senator Casey said. “As a home to several military assets and a nuclear plant, Western Pennsylvania benefits in a unique way from an Air Marshals office. Reconsidering this decision would be a benefit to over 60 workers, their families and our entire region.”
The Honorable John S. Pistole
Transportation Security Administration
601 12th St S.
Arlington, VA 22202
Dear Administrator Pistole,
It has come to my attention that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing a restructuring plan that will result in the closure of six Federal US Air Marshal Service (FAMS) offices over the next two years, including the office located in the Pittsburgh area. The purpose of this letter is to express my concerns regarding this decision and to urge your reconsideration of this matter.
Federal Air Marshals play a critical role in safeguarding air travel throughout the country. These changes may have national implications and could have an impact on safety in Western Pennsylvania. It is important to note that the Pittsburgh International Airport is in close proximity to military assets and a major nuclear power plant.
Of additional concern is the impact this decision will have on jobs locally. Should this decision move forward, I urge you to work closely with those impacted to ensure that they able to transfer and transition into new positions as smoothly as possible. I urge you to explore all options that would allow FAMS to maintain primary residence in Pittsburgh if they so choose to do so. Additionally, it is my understanding that there is a time sensitive request that has been made of current employees to submit their preferences for potential transfers. I urge you to consider an extension of that deadline as you evaluate the best course of action for this proposal.
I urge your office to reconsider this decision and ask for your continued vigilance and efforts to keep our airports and the surrounding areas safe. Thank you for your attention to my views.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator