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Sky Lakes urges lawmakers to pressure TSA

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Sky Lakes urges lawmakers to pressure TSA

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Contact: Thomas Hottman

Sky Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Stewart today thanked members of the Oregon Congressional delegation for their help in urging the Transportation Security Administration to resume passenger and baggage screening at Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport in Klamath Falls, and encouraged them to keep up the pressure to get TSA here by January 2016.

Klamath Falls community leaders successfully recruited Peninsula Airways of Anchorage, Alaska, to provide airline flights to the area served by the airport, filling the void left when commercial air service to Klamath Falls ended in June 2014. Resuming air service requires safety screening services by the TSA.

The full text of the letter is below.

You can send your own copy of the letter to Sen. Wyden, Sen. Merkley, and Rep. Walden by downloading the PDF, printing, signing and mailing it.

The full letter:

Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Sen. Merkley,

Thank you for your recent letter urging the Transportation Security Administration to resume passenger and baggage screening at Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport in Klamath Falls.

As you know, Klamath Falls community leaders successfully recruited Peninsula Airways of Anchorage, Alaska, to provide airline flights to the area served by the airport, filling the void left when commercial air service to Klamath Falls ended in June 2014. Resuming air service requires safety screening services by the TSA.

I am among many in the region who implore you: Keep up the pressure on the TSA.

You rightly set a January 1, 2016, deadline for TSA to reestablish equipment and personnel at the airport. Many in Klamath Falls agree when I note how sorely disappointed we would be if we were to learn of the TSA's lack of diligence in moving forward to meet that deadline.

As long as TSA dawdles, PenAir's plans to begin the new airline service here are stalled, and that puts at risk hundreds of thousands of dollars from FAA for capital improvements at the airport. These improvement projects would provide desperately needed construction-related jobs and would add considerable economic energy for Southern Oregon.

With nearly 1,300 employees, Sky Lakes Medical Center is the largest private employer in the area. Delaying the re-launch of air service is not only expensive to the medical center and inconvenient to its employees, but also negatively impacts our ability to recruit needed healthcare providers to the region.

It is my fervent hope that your intervention in behalf of the city of Klamath Falls, Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport, and your supporters in south-central Oregon is successful, and you will continue to push TSA to expedite its processes, return services here, and allow commercial air service to resume.

Regards,
(sig)
Paul R. Stewart
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sky Lakes Medical Center

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