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Mon, Feb 25, 2013

ATC Services Could Suffer From Effects Of Sequestration

ALPA President Warns Of Reduced Flights, Possible Delays

If sequestration is allowed to go into effect on March 1, the ripple effect could be felt throughout the aviation industry as the FAA is forced to reduce its budget and furlough staff.

Air Transport World reports that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that sequestration “would force the FAA to undergo an immediate retrenchment of core functions.” and that the move would make it "impossible to avoid significant employee furloughs” at the FAA.

LaHood said in the letter, sent last month, that “(t)he furlough of a large number of air traffic controllers and technicians will require a reduction in air traffic to a level that can be safely managed by the remaining staff.” He added that the implementation of NextGen would also be affected.

In a conference call with journalists, ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak said that the airline industry would feel the pinch through possible flight reductions and longer delays. He said maintenance on air navigation facilities could also be disrupted. He cited the 2011 partial shutdown of the FAA as Congress argued over its long-term funding as an example of what might happen in a sequestration scenario.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.alpa.org

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