The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would have to slash its operations budget and could not support current levels of passenger and air cargo activity if the process of automatic federal spending cuts known as “sequestration” takes effect in January as scheduled. In turn, reduced passenger and cargo activity would lead to job losses and other economic fallout, according to a study released by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
“Sequestration was supposed to be the sword of Damocles hanging over the Congress, forcing them to act [on reducing the federal budget deficit],” said Todd Hauptli, senior executive vice president of the American Association of Airport Executives. “Thus far, they haven’t acted. These cuts will have significant impact on operations within the FAA. Travelers are going to feel this. If this is allowed to go into effect in January, it will manifest itself in longer lines at the airport.” Hauptli and several association executives spoke at an August 13 luncheon in Washington, D.C., organized by the AIA to discuss the study.