For months now people have been waiting for a detailed breakdown of the Fiscal Cliff’s impact on the FAA. Last week the Minority of the HR Committee on Appropriations made public the OMB analysis of how Sequester will affect the agency.
The Federal Aviation Administration could face $619 million or more cuts in the operations, facilities and equipment spending to occur as soon as March. The study indicates the cuts would result in fewer air traffic controllers, customs officers and security officers. Obviously, fewer controllers, screeners and customs employees will throw a wrench into an already stressed air travel system. This would trigger higher airfares and widespread slowdowns at the nation’s airports. The cuts could include the shutdown of more than 200 control towers and be critical in the ability to move forward with aviation in this century. The FAA is continuing to develop a plan to deal with looming federal budget cuts.
Hopefully these are “worst case scenarios”, but with the Fiscal Cliff becoming more and more likely, it’s worth considering just what the impact may be for the FAA.