There is no doubt that without the dedication and skill of the FAA’s Air Traffic Controllers, the entire country would suffer. In a new report from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA explains what could happen if the mandatory ‘Sequestration’ cuts take effect.
The report states that all users and operators of the National Airspace System including travelers, general aviation pilots, airlines, businesses and the military will feel the impact of the cuts in the form of a reduction in airport and air traffic control services, a diminishing of the NAS’s flight capacity, increased delays and costs to airlines and lags in air traffic modernization.
NATCA warns that if the FAA budget is cut it could result in the furlough of over 2000 air traffic controllers (12% of the workforce). “This could lead to a reduction in services.” To the public, this mean delays, less available flights and higher costs.
“As the front line safety professionals in the aviation community, it is our role to warn the rest of the country that these cuts will be detrimental to our National Airspace System and the economy,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi.
Currently the National Airspace System moves an average of two million passengers on 70,000 flights a day. A reduction in flights would result in the potential layoff to pilots, flight attendants, ramp agents, ticket agents, and other aviation related jobs. Aviation is attributed to 10 million jobs and contributes over $1.3 trillion dollars to the GDP.
The air traffic controllers would not be the only ones in the FAA to be hit with mandatory furloughs and layoffs. In addition to the 2000 air traffic controllers who will be furloughed, the FAA will have to furlough 7,500 engineers, inspectors, and aviation professionals. These layoffs would also indefinitely delay all NextGen modernization projects currently being worked on by the FAA.
“The U.S. has the safest and most efficient airspace in the world and the FAA needs appropriate funding to continue directing it,” said NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert. “If Congress allows sequestration to become a reality, the aviation community and the economy will take a major hit. We cannot afford to let that happen.”
It is obvious that we cannot let the ‘Sequestration’ cut take effect. We need Congress and the President to take action to avoid this potentially dangerous situation. We elected our legislators in Washington to speak for us, not against us. We need them to come to an agreement before these cuts take effect and send thousands of good jobs out the door.
View NATCA’s full report on the impacts of sequestration.