Sequester: Budget cuts will impact air travel

6:57 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Some of the most visible effects of across-the-board spending cuts that start March 1 will be in air travel.

Federal Aviation Administration officials predict furloughs and cutbacks could mean takeoff delays, longer security screening waits and fewer flights overall.

Cleveland Hopkins Airport Director Ricky Smith advisers travelers to go back to the old rule of arriving two hours ahead of departure times.

Smith thinks convenience will be sacrificed but safety will not.

"They're trying to preserve safety and security and that's coming at the risk of efficiency," he said.

The FAA will see its budget reduced $600 million this year due to the cuts. Most of its 47,000 employees would be furloughed one day per pay period for the rest of the year.

And 50,000 TSA screeners will also face 7 staggered furlough days.

Some Federal officials predict security waits at big airports could increase by 90 minutes.

The White House put out a state-by-state list of sequestration's overall impact.

It says that five, small air traffic control sites in Ohio could be closed.

That list includes towers at the Cuyahoga County Airport, Mansfield Airport, Ohio State University Airport, Bolton Field Airport in Columbus and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

Four facilities could see their overnight shift eliminated. That includes towers at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown airports.

Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres has more on the possible cuts and how they could impact your spring or summer travel plans.


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