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WASHINGTON – The Western New York congressional delegation, led by Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, is making a push for bringing more modern cargo planes to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

In a letter Tuesday to the Air Force secretary and chief of staff, Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and her congressional colleagues suggested moving eight C-130H3 cargo planes from a base in Minneapolis, where they are scheduled to depart next year, to the base in Niagara Falls.

The more modern planes are scheduled to be moved to the Falls in 2017, but in the letter, the lawmakers said it makes more sense to send them to the local base next year rather than basing them in a third location for three years.

Noting that the C-130 cargo planes currently based in the Falls are among the oldest in the nation’s fleet, the lawmakers said: “This is an opportunity for the department to restore a capability to NFARS, which benefits the Air Force and the nation.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., also signed the letter, as did Reps. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, and Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo.