More on Sequester and Its Impact on Aviation
According to a recent
congressional report, the impact of sequestration on our nation’s aviation
system could be severe. Previous reports have estimated that up to 5,000 flights
per day could be canceled and 12 percent of air traffic controllers laid off as
a result of the cuts.
The most recent congressional report warns across-the-board budget cuts that
are set to take effect on March 1 (barring intervention by Congress and the
White House), would limit the FAA’s ability to move forward with NextGen
modernization. The FAA’s capital program, which funds maintenance and
improvements to the air traffic control system and facilities, has already
experienced significant cuts of more than $205 million over the last three
Transition to NextGen modernization will take longer and
its benefits will not be realized for years if cuts due to sequestration force
the FAA to use limited resources as a Band-Aid to maintain its existing air
traffic control infrastructure.
In addition, sequestration’s cut to other federal agencies will have
repercussions on air operations. Cuts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration are projected to delay future weather satellite data, diminishing
the accuracy of weather forecasts and resulting in airline delays. Slowdowns
caused by ground delays can lead to significant fines on airlines, which will
result in higher passenger fares.
Military cuts are projected to have a significant impact on readiness. A
sequestration scenario that extends through the end of the year will trigger
cuts of more than 20 percent across the Joint Force. According to the army chief
of staff, once implemented, “it will take longer and longer to catch up. So this
will not be just a FY13 readiness issue, it will be a readiness issue that goes
into FY14 and FY15.” Cuts of this magnitude and service reductions could impact
military charter flying done by ALPA members.
Read the full report.