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The newsrooms are a buzz with the information that was just released from the Federal Aviation Administration on the potential impacts of the Sequestration.   Sequestration is the name given to the draconian cuts that are going to rip apart the government and our economy at the same time.

Today Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, released a letter to the aviation community highlighting the impacts.

1.  Furloughs of 11-22 days between April and Oct 1st for all 47,000 FAA Employees.

2. Eliminate midshifts at 60 towers across the country

3. Close over 100 air traffic control towers (link to potential closure list)

4. Reduce preventative maintenance and equipment provisioning and support for all National Airspace System equipment.

These impacts will create massive delays for air travelers, and any business that relies on aviation to move their people or product.  Aviation contributes $1.3 Trillion to the national economy.  With over 70,000 operations every single day and 130 million operations annually, the FAA oversees all of them.

Sec. Lahood also points out that flights to the major airports,  JFK, IAD, SFO, LAX could see delays of 90 minutes or more durning peak times.   Those delays will only create more waves throughout the system as gridlock sets in.

The President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Paul Rinaldi, had this to say after hearing the news.
“Today’s announcement from the FAA unfortunately confirms the concerns we have been warning about for months – sequestration will significantly and perhaps permanently undermine the capacity of the National Airspace System. The fact that they will not just be furloughing critical FAA personnel but closing air traffic control towers means the system will be even more compromised than anticipated. We share the FAA’s commitment to preserving the safety of the system despite these draconian cuts. Safety is always the top priority of air traffic controllers, but the reality is this - safety will be preserved at the expense of operations across the country. Once towers are closed, the airports they serve may be next. Additionally, we believe the delay estimates provided by the FAA are conservative and the potential for disruptions could be much higher.

“Every one of these actions by the FAA will have an impact far beyond inconveniencing travelers. Local economies will be diminished, military exercises will be cancelled and jobs will be lost. There’s no telling how long these effects will be felt because many of these service reductions may not be reversed. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association continues to urge the nation’s policy-makers to find a solution that prevents or mitigates the impact of sequestration in a way that does not diminish the world’s safest and most efficient national airspace system.”

These 47,000 FAA Employees are real people.  They have families, children, and mortgages.   Like many Americans, they probably cannot afford to be forced out of work for an entire month without pay.  Yet this is what Congress is forcing them to do.

We must take action now to stop these draconian cuts from every happening.   Call your elected Representative and tell them to stop this now!  Call your Senator.  Call the White House.  Tell them all that these cuts are hurting hard working families throughout the country.  Tell them how these cuts are going to directly effect you.

Congress created these Sequestration cuts and they can take them away.  It is time to stop playing chicken with our economy and the lives of millions of federal employees and their families.  End the sequestration now, while you still can!

Originally posted on NH LABOR NEWS

Originally posted to The New Hampshire Labor News on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossack Air Force.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Together We Can Fight Back Against The Attacks On Labor In America

    by NH LABOR NEWS on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:53:34 PM PST

  •  There's no reason to scare people like this... (7+ / 0-) would have missed the flight anyway because of the reduced staffing at the security checkpoint.

    •  They're just trying to do things ... (0+ / 0-)

      that will cause the maximum public backlash possible in hopes full funding will be restored and corruption can continue as normal.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:03:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recall a joke an englishman told me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball

    once when I was about 10 that I thought hilariously funny.

    A Chinese man walks into an english bank to exchange yuan to pounds sterling. The teller gives him 1 pound for each 100 yuan he gives him.

    The next week he comes back for more pounds only the teller says he must give him 120 yuan for one pound sterling.

    The Chinese man complains that last week it was 100 yuan and this week 120! The teller explains "It's fluctuation my dear chap."  The Chinese man says "Well, fluck you european too!"

    I can just imagine the conversation where people try to pronouce sequestration and explain what the heck they're talking about.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:12:43 PM PST

  •  If those clowns in Congress wanted to stop it, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, ladybug53, cynndara

    they would. No point in calling or signing yet another idiotic petition.

  •  Wow, Big Problems with Small Tower Closures (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, eztempo, craiger, ladybug53

    I noticed the tower at Santa Monica airport on the closure list.  I assume that means that the airport would then be run in unmanned mode. That seems like a serious problem for an airport that averages over 250 takeoffs and landings a day with peak days well over 400.  The pilots I know are all very competent, but self-organizing 10 or 15 planes trying to use the same approach with another 10 trying to takeoff on the same runway seems like too much to ask, not even considering the proximity of LAX and the potential for straying into those flight paths.  Would there be some attempt to restrict traffic?

    Seems like a bad idea.

    Republican motto: " The only thing we have is fear itself."

    by lgrabowski on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:21:30 PM PST

    •  How many VFR days does Santa Monica have? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eztempo, lgrabowski, ladybug53, craiger

      There could be days where the weather won't permit ANY use of the runways whatsoever -- so not just the tower, but the whole facility shuts down.

      That could have some interesting repercussions...

      •  KSMO is used by some powerful donors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgrabowski, ladybug53

        The weather is generally clear with great visibility, but it is "rainy season" with coastal fog days coming ... and Santa Monica's airport is a favorite of a whole lot of politically connected wallets.  Of course, many of 'em are entertainment industry Democrats, so calls to local Congresspeople aren't gonna change many votes.

        But, hey, maybe stories & rumors of $$ pouring into OFA & targeting vulnerable swing Rethugs might nudge a vote or two out of Boehner's column?

      •  Not Many (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, craiger

        I'm not a pilot nor do I know all that much about aviation, but from what I can glean from checking out the reports here, it looks like only 2 days in the last 6 months have had all flights come in under IFR.  It does look like about 20% to 25% of the flights do operate under IFR, but there is no indication whether it is required by weather or not.  A good number of jets use the field and there may be rules about jets having to use IFR - I don't know.

        Republican motto: " The only thing we have is fear itself."

        by lgrabowski on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:51:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  jets usually IFR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          IFR is mandatory for all flights above 18,000 feet.  Jets like to fly (way) above 18,000 because they get really lousy fuel economy at low altitudes.  And most airline flights are conducted under rules (called Part 121) that require IFR handling at all times.  So practically speaking, most jets are IFR most of the time.

          "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

          by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:51:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  ATCT not required for an IFR departure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgrabowski, cynndara

        LAX is still going to be open, and SoCal TRACON will still be herding traffic in the air.

        The way this works is the same way it works at night when the tower is closed.  The pilot calls up a flight service station and requests his IFR clearance over the phone.  He's told that he is released at a certain time, and clearance void if not off by a time about 10 minutes later.  Take off IFR, and call the TRACON in the air.

        Of course it's not the most efficient way to handle congested traffic, so there might be long waits for the clearance time, and effectively metering of the traffic based on how long people are willing to wait.

        The closest historical precedent would be back when Reagan fired all the PATCO controllers.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:41:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's always nice when somebody who really knows what they are talking about shows up on a thread.

          Since it seems like you might know, if the tower were to be closed, how would VFR traffic work at the airport?  Would it actually be like a crop-duster strip where the pilots work it out among themselves about approach and takeoff priorities?  That seems a little crazy for an airport with traffic of KSMO not to mention the interesting mix of fast jets and pokey little singe-engine two-seaters.

          Republican motto: " The only thing we have is fear itself."

          by lgrabowski on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:49:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's exactly right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            On the way out the door, SMO controllers will record an ATIS (continuous loop radio transmission of airport conditions) stating that the tower is closed, all pilots to report intentions on whatever frequency.

            At that point it's totally up to pilots whether they want to take off or land east or west. Basic rules give right of way to landing aircraft over departing. Still it's up to everyone flying to see and be seen, and to negotiate their own sequence.

            My own airport does a level of traffic comparable to Van Nuys, so we are not on the hit list. But I've reviewed the list and there are places I would not want to be at a busy time without the ATCT running the show.

            "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

            by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:13:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

              In that case I want to give thanks for the apparent competence of all the pilots I've known, but I'll also give thanks that I no longer live close to that airport and my friends who flew out of there have moved on.

              Republican motto: " The only thing we have is fear itself."

              by lgrabowski on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:44:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  And BTW (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to know enough about flying to ask some really good questions. You would make a great student pilot. :-)

            "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

            by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:29:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm surprised the FAA isn't paid from a dedicated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, craiger, VClib

    tax on the airlines or passengers.

    •  50% give or take (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      About half of the FAA operations are paid out of a trust fund that is supported by ticket taxes and fuel excise taxes.  The other half is from the general fund.

      Administrations of both parties have been trying for years to reduce the general fund contribution and to find arcane ways to charge a la carte pricing for every phase of aviation activity, from filing a flight plan to requesting a landing clearance.

      The lobbying groups for airlines, business aviation, pilots and aircraft owners point out that we all benefit from the aviation system:  2nd day air packages get delivered, airplanes don't fall on top of your house because safety regulations, and so forth.

      Plus it's cheaper to tax tickets and gas than it is to set up virtual tool booths everywhere to nickel and dime every operation.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:46:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a perfect example of how we are all going (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to pay the price for the idiocy and nihilism of the far right.  Instead of distributing these closures and delays around the country, they should be focused exclusively into the districts of the Repugs who voted for this stupidity and have refused to deal with it. Let the job cuts and pain hit those that refused to help solve the problem. Then lets see how long they can hold out.

    Good Sense is Seldom Common

  •  WOW. I am in WA and (0+ / 0-)

    it could potentially close everything but Sea-Tac ..... a part of me hope it does just that (at least for a short time) just so the average American will realize that it WILL affect them.  I used to work as a QC in a meat packing plant, that really worries me because I saw what the plants did when the USDA Inspector wasn't there (they ignored me).

    "Life is a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think" - Jean de la Bruyere

    by Tinuviel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:48:13 PM PST

  •  I'm Calling BS.... (0+ / 0-)

    on this entire phony "crisis".

    It's "good" that congress is out on one of their numerous vacations-- it gives them plenty of time to actually think about what they think needs to be funded and what doesn't.

    since they (as usual) will end up looking like gigantic pricks if they decide to fully fund only sacred cows like our bloated military, while allowing cuts to air safety and other obviously crucial programs-- it's a safe bet they'll come back from their vacation and kick the sequestration can down the road-- in the feeble hope they're going to actually propose a budget in the near future.


    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:01:57 PM PST

  •  Aren't people going to DIE because of seq? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Missing air traffic controllers, missing food safety inspectors, what else? Obama needs to step up his game on Monday by blaming the GOP in advance.

    •  Oh, it will probably go on (0+ / 0-)

      until either air traffic or something else gets so TOTALLY screwed up that the Masters Of The Universe call their hired help in Congress and demand that they get the trains running on time, or until a few people die from something that should have been caught by an inspector on furlough or a plane crash helped along by lack of ATC.

    •  not out of the question (0+ / 0-)

      I am not one to light my hair on fire in advance of reality, but I am concerned. If sequester happens, and if I find evidence of an aviation fatality that I think is a plausible consequence, I will most likely write my first diary in several years.

      If I end up being the fatality, I hope someone else writes it up.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:50:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems to affect private planes more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than general aviation.  When Mr. CEO can't take his private plane off, he'll be sending a WTF to his representative.

    •  Pejorative terms: corporate jet, NBAA (0+ / 0-)

      One of the original raisons d'être of the Kossack Air Force group was to dispel misconceptions such as there is a distinction between "private planes" and "general aviation".

      General aviation encompasses all flight operations that are not commercial, military or other government flights (police, FBI, DEA, CIA, etc).  So it unfortunately includes both CEOs taking their ski holidays at Jackson Hole via private jet and people like myself who fly a Cessna on the weekend.

      In other words, all private planes are general aviation.  However, when billionaires send me fundraising letters asking me to advocate to keep the cost of jet fuel down, I tell them to pound sand.  My private plane burns a form of gasoline, I don't fly much with jets (not even to the same airports), and I have no affinity for folks who don't fly their own planes, much less pay their own expenses.

      If you mean to indicate the corporate bigwigs and their lobbyists, they fly "corporate jets" and their version of the NRA is called the NBAA.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:23:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The last time we had a group like the bozos in.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    DC who were so determined to dismantle the Federal Government, we ended up settling it in blood. Little thing called the Civil War. All the fools who kept trying to find a way to compromise around the basic disagreements ended up just delaying the inevitable, and making it worse when it finally did break loose.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:36:51 PM PST

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