Genav Could Bear Brunt of Sequestration Hit at FAA

 - August 14, 2012, 3:50 PM

The U.S. aviation system would suffer a “devastating” hit if the process of automatic federal budget cuts known as “sequestration” takes effect in January, according to industry leaders. An Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) study released yesterday estimates that 132,000 aviation jobs would be lost in the first year as a result of sequestration, which requires $500 billion in federal non-defense spending cuts over the next decade.

Unless Congress acts to repeal the law, the FAA could see $1 billion in cuts from its $16 billion annual budget, AIA president and CEO Marion Blakey said at a luncheon in Washington, D.C., to announce the study. Melissa Rudiger, AOPA vice president of government affairs, said sequestration threatens a general aviation industry that supports 1.5 million jobs; $150 billion in annual economic impact; 5,200 community-funded airports; 2,000 charter companies; 4,100 repair stations; 3,400 flight schools and FBOs; and 265,000 mechanics.

“We believe that general aviation may bear the brunt of some of the more draconian cuts,” Rudiger said. “Things like the [FAA’s] contract tower program would probably be cut at least in half, if not more. That impacts safety and local economies.”


These type of,"the sky is falling" articles certainly belie the creativity and entrepeneurial spirit of the American aviator. Two World Wars, numerous foreign conflicts have all been huge boons to aviation development and generally were funded by government spending or related contractor R&D programs. Now is the time for all of aviation sectors to shine, incorporating over a centuries worth of wisdom and business knowledge. I am of the opinion that any large loss of funding does not equate into a devastating bleak future of United States aviation.
Take a look at the wonderful response to the loss of the space shuttle program. Astronauts are still inhabiting space and private sector innovation is keeping them well supplied and on mission.
I have yet to meet the aircraft mechanic in my 33 years in aviation that was not able to adapt to layoffs, downturns in the economy and national crisis by securing another high skill labor job in the non avaition sector of the economy. These same men, at least the ones that truly love their calling to all things aviation, return back into the winged world when conditions become favorable.
I agree a loss of aviation jobs could very well occur ,temporarily in my opinion, as we watch a mature innovative industry experience this possible set of current events as an opportunity to excel. Such a funding shortfall may very well provide the impetus required to kick start our collective tribal knowledge into our next golden age of aviation.
Personally I see the future bringing us huge dirigibles for heavy lift operations, spiroid wing tips being fitted to everything that flies, further voyages into near earth research and serious science, not tourism and entertainment. I envision the next age to have our tech savy and business leaders traveling once again at mach speeds conducting business globally in unprecedented fashion and speed.
The next age of American aviation will fundamentally shift from its military roots of innovation for lethal superiority, to an renaissance age of beauty mixed with form and function based in enviromentally responsible prosperity, revealing a new consciousness of corporate and personal virtues.
This to my more practical colleagues,will sound like some pipe dream lacking any foundation in reality or practical real world experience. I would offer this to consider: Aviation has in its very foundation dreamers that looked to the sky and pondered for centuries how to fly like the freedom loving birds overhead.

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