OMB Report: Sequestration Will Jeopardize Aviation Programs

On Friday, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a 394-page report which outlines the impact of automatic budget cuts (“sequestration”) required if Congress can’t agree on a deficit reduction plan. This report confirms what ALPA has been predicting over the summer, that should sequestration take effect on January 1, 2013, federal programs critical to airline pilots and the aviation system will be in jeopardy. Read the full report.

Under a sequestration scenario, mandatory spending cuts will be implemented to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion through FY 2021. According to the sequestration report, $109 billion in cuts will be required each year (half from cuts to defense programs and half in non-defense, such as aviation and homeland security).

For our aviation system, we are looking at an 8.2 percent cut in major programs at the FAA that support ATC services, airport improvement, aircraft certification, and NextGen development and implementation. The report bluntly states, “The Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage the Nation’s airspace and air traffic control would be reduced.” Similar cuts will be felt at the National Mediation Board, Customs and Border Protection, NTSB, TSA (including a $73M hit to the FAMS program, which administers the FFDO program), and the National Law Enforcement Training Center among others.

The recently released report by the executive branch confirms that sequestration will have a devastating impact on aviation. Sequestration was never intended to be implemented, and today’s report clearly outlines why. The sequestration trigger was enacted to force Congress to agree on a deficit-reduction plan. ALPA continues to call on Congress to find a cooperative and bipartisan path toward responsible federal budgeting that will not have critical consequences for our aviation system.