NATCA warns against sequestration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General aviation will feel the heavy impact of the mandated 8.2% sequestration funding cut for the FAA if Congress doesn’t act to avert the across-the-board cuts.

A report from National Air Traffic Control Association (NATCA) says the cut would cause furloughing between 2,000 and 2,200 air traffic controllers. This is about 12% of the workforce.

Such a cut would affect all users of the national airspace system. This would lead to a reduction services, reduced capacity, and fewer flights for “travelers, general aviation pilots, airlines, businesses and the military,” NATCA officials said. The ripple effect of the control reductions would negatively impact airlines, pilots, flight attendants, airport employees, passengers and the many businesses that depend on the aviation sector.

The report notes that the also sequester would put at risk the several modernization projects.

According to the report, the aviation sector drives nearly 10 million jobs and contributes $1.3 trillion to the nation’s GDP.

NATCA Vice President Trish Gilbert said “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.”

Charles Spence is General Aviation News’ Washington, D.C., correspondent.

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