In a statement, Ray LaHood detailed the effects of cuts from sequestration on “transportation services that are critical to the traveling public and the nation’s economy,” explaining how the Department Of Transportation’s operations would be impacted by the looming budgetary restrictions.
Reaction to LaHood’s statement was swift, as Americans processed what the cuts mean for frequent and occasional travelers. The Transportation Secretary begins:
“At DOT we will need to cut nearly a billion dollars, which will affect dozens of our programs. Over $600 million of those cuts will need to come from the Federal Aviation Administration – the agency that controls and manages our nation’s skies.”
“As a result of these cuts, the vast majority of the FAA’s nearly 47,000 employees will be furloughed for approximately one day per pay period until the end of the fiscal year and in some cases it could be as many as two days.”
The DOT isn’t sugarcoating the real effects of sequestration on US air travel, telling fliers to gear up for extensive delays due to limitations and safety concerns. Ray LaHood explains:
- Safety is our top priority and we will only allow the amount of air traffic we can handle safely to take off and land – which means travelers should expect delays.
- Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours because we will have fewer controllers on staff.