Oregon lawmakers urge TSA to maintain security infrastructure as Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport recruits new carrier

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), along with Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley sent a letter urging the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to maintain security infrastructure at Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport in Klamath Falls as the airport recruits another carrier to resume commercial air service. In their letter, the lawmakers state that keeping screening equipment in place will allow the airport to continue its recruitment efforts unhindered by logistical and administrative burdens.

“PenAir’s bankruptcy and abrupt decision to pull out of several small, regional airports in the Northwest — including Klamath Falls — forced the community to begin recruiting another carrier,” the lawmakers wrote. “Removal of the existing TSA equipment would present a burden to those recruitment efforts. Given the lack of notification ahead of PenAir’s cancellation of service, the airport and local community should be allowed time to conduct recruitment unhindered by such logistical and administrative burdens.”

“The local community understands well the diverse benefits that air service provides. That’s why they are working to find a replacement,” the lawmakers continued. “As they do that, we respectfully request that you allow TSA screening equipment to temporarily remain at the airport until such time that a robust recruitment of potential replacement carriers has been completed.”

Walden and his colleagues are working closely with airport officials and the Department of Transportation to bring air service back to Klamath Falls. All four lawmakers led a bipartisan effort to craft the Treating Small Airports with Fairness Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives last year and helped restore commercial air service to Klamath Falls after the departure of SkyWest in June 2014.

A full copy of their letter is attached to this press release.