Could Potential Government Cuts Shut Down the Pasco Airport?
Falling off the fiscal cliff has been avoided, but some potential budget cuts could shut down dozens of airports across the country.
According to information released by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the deals reached by the House and Senate Tuesday will put a two-month delay on nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts that would affect the military, as well as 233 airports across the country.
From a NATCA press release New Years Day:
The NATCA report states that all users of the National Airspace System (NAS), which includes travelers, pilots, airlines, businesses and the military will feel the impact of the cuts via a reduction in airport and air traffic control services, shrinking of the NAS's flight capacity, increased delays, higher costs to airlines and lags in air traffic modernization.
The report claims if budget cuts occur after the delay of sequestration, there are as many as 233 airports that the FAA designates as being below "Level 7" as far as traffic, passengers and activity. The budget cuts would eliminate funding to air traffic control and essentially shut down the towers, or make them incapable of properly processing commercial air flights.
The list includes Pasco. Sequestration is a series of across-the-board, mandantory budget reductions. These budgets are permanently canceled to enforce spending goals. These cuts were due to go into effect Jan. 2, 2013, but the Congressional deal has apparently delayed this sequestration until March.
If the severity of the FAA cuts actually happen, the loss of Pasco would be a significant blow to the business in the Mid-Columbia.