The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) has released a report outlining the effects sequestration will have on the aviation industry, as well as the U.S. economy, if Congress does not act to avert the across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect January 1. “As the front-line safety professionals in the aviation community, it is our role to warn the rest of the country that these cuts will be detrimental to our National Airspace System and the economy,” said Natca president Paul Rinaldi. “We urge Congress to act to prevent the sequester before it’s too late.”
According to its report, all users of and operators in the NAS–including airline passengers, general/business aviation pilots, airlines, businesses and the military–will be affected by the cuts “in the form of a reduction in airport and air traffic control services, a diminishing of the NAS’s flight capacity, increased delays and costs to airlines and lags in air traffic modernization.”
Natca further warns that cutting the FAA operations budget by the mandated 8.2 percent could result in furloughing between 2,000 and 2,200 air traffic controllers, about 12 percent of the workforce. The sequester cuts would also put at risk several NextGen modernization projects, including en route automation modernization (Eram) and metroplex airspace optimization, among others.