NATCA Releases Report on Impact of Sequestration
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Many NATCAvists have come to Washington, D.C., in recent days and weeks to join National Office Government Affairs Department staff in heading to Capitol Hill to talk with Congressional members and their staffs about the extremely negative impact that sequestration would have on the National Airspace System. Above, Western Pacific Region Legislative Representative Trisha Pesiri (Santa Barbara) is joined by Boise Facility Representative Mark Griffin (left) and Great Falls Member Todd Knowles.

NATCA on Wednesday released a report outlining the major impact sequestration will have on the aviation industry and the U.S. economy if Congress does not act to avert the across-the-board cuts.

To view the full report on the impacts of sequestration, please click HERE.

“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.”

The report, produced by the National Office Government Affairs Department, states that all users and operators of the National Airspace System (NAS) including travelers, general aviation pilots, airlines, businesses and the military will feel the impact of 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.

It further warns that cutting the Federal Aviation Administration (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. This would inevitably lead to a reduction in services, reduced capacity, and fewer flights. The resulting ripple effect would negatively impact airlines, pilots, flight attendants, private aviation, airport employees, passengers and the many businesses that depend on a vibrant aviation sector, which drives nearly 10 million jobs and contributes $1.3 trillion to the nation’s GDP.

The report describes how the effects could be felt by airports that rely on passenger and landing fees and other passenger-generated revenue – a reduction in airspace capacity would increase airline delays and costs, resulting in decreased passenger demand as prices become unfeasible for average Americans.

The report notes that the sequester would put at risk the several NextGen modernization projects being pursued jointly by the FAA, NATCA and the aviation industry that are currently seeing great progress. Advancements in programs such as ERAM and Optimization of Airspaces and Procedures in the Metroplex would be unnecessarily and irreparably delayed if sequestration is implemented. Reduced spending for NextGen research, planning and construction would not only delay essential modernization, but would also reduce valuable research investments critical to the U.S. economy.

“The U.S. has the safest and most efficient airspace in the world and the FAA needs appropriate funding to continue directing it,” said NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert. “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.”

The report's release drew significant media attention, including a mention during live coverage of the sequestration issue on CNN. Click on the links below to view articles.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Warning to Air Travelers
(Video, NATCA report on sequestration impact mentioned)

HLN News Now
Going Off ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Hurt Airline Travel
(Video, NATCA report on sequestration impact mentioned)

Government Executive
Sequestration Could Mean Furloughs For More Than 2,000 Air Traffic Controllers

Washington Post
Air Traffic Controllers Union Warns of Layoffs If ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Isn’t Avoided

NBC 5 Chicago
Air Traffic Controllers Enter Fiscal Cliff Debate: NATCA Says Suggested Cuts Would Impact Travelers

Air Traffic Management
NATCA Reports on Sequestration Impact

ATC Network
NATCA Releases Report on Impact on Sequestration

AIN Online
NATCA: Sequestration Would Cripple ATC, NextGen