BWI radar project stalled over FAA fight

Work on a surface radar system for the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was halted because a spat in Congress has stalled legislation to fund the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. transportation officials said Monday.

The new radar system, which will allow air traffic controllers to better track airplanes and vehicles on the tarmac, was one of 60 projects across the country stopped on Monday, including control tower projects in New York and Las Vegas. In addition, some 4,000 FAA employees nationwide were furloughed over the weekend, officials said.

Congress missed Friday's deadline to pass the funding measure because of partisan battles on two controversial provisions: Subsidies for rural airports and the rules governing unionization of airline workers.

"Because Congress didn't do its work, FAA programs and thousands of public and private sector jobs are in jeopardy," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a conference call with reporters Monday. "This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world."

A list of stop-work orders released by the FAA includes a $2.3 million contract for site development and installation of the new radar system at BWI along with a $91,500 contract for security.

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