Industry Analysis: FAA Cuts Under Sequester Would Be Costly

August 14, 2012

Automatic budget cuts slated to begin in January could cost the Federal Aviation Administration $1 billion next year and take a sharp bite out of the U.S. economy, a new industry forecast concludes.

The report, released Monday by the Aerospace Industries Association, presumes that the cuts would force the layoff of almost 1,500 air traffic controllers — nearly 10 percent of the total — and the closing of more than 240 airport control towers around the country. Coupled with projected layoffs of almost 12,000 customs inspectors and Transportation Security Administration screeners, “these cuts would hobble the air transportation system, and leave it unable to support today’s level of civil air travel,” the report says.

The result could be a drop in passenger and freight traffic of anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent, with up to 109,000 lost jobs next year, the report says. Aircraft manufacturing would also drop by as much as 2 percent, costing the economy another 11,000 to 22,000 jobs.

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