The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has urged the American Samoa government to build a temporary air traffic control tower now and not to wait for the FAA to finance the project.
The FAA's local resident director, Smitty Lutu, told the Senate that American Samoa does not qualify for funding to build an traffic control tower because the number of flights landing at Pago Pago International Airport is not sufficient to justify the expenditure.
He also told the senators the FAA told the local administration 15 years ago to start preparing to take over air traffic control services as the time would come when the FAA would eventually withdraw.
Mr Lutu urged the government to use the $2 million set aside by Congress to build a temporary tower for Pago Pago.
He said it should cost less than that to build a temporary tower