Skift Take

The threat of a nation full of angry, delayed flyers should push Congress and the Obama administration towards a solution beforehand, but there will likely be pain before a compromise is reached.

White House officials brought Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to its briefing room present dire warnings about how cuts from the 2011 Budget Control Act will affect transportation across the United States.

“These are harmful cuts with real-world consequences that will cost jobs and hurt our economy,” LaHood said in a press conference earlier today.

The cuts, which are are known as sequestration, go into effect at the beginning of March if Congress and the White House fail to come to an agreement.

The DOT’s budget will be cut by $1.2 billion for the rest of fiscal 2013, which ends in September. The department has already announced $600 million in proposed cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration, which may include:

  • Furloughing up to 47,000 employees for one day per pay period
  • Closing over 100 air traffic control facilities (see chart below)
  • Eliminating the overnight shift at over 60 facilities
  • Reducing preventive maintenance and support for all air traffic control equipment.

Changes will be determined by negotiations with municipalities where facilities are located and discussions with labor unions.

Closure of air traffic control stations touches military, commercial, and passenger flights in the U.S. In addition to closed stations, the DOT will cut hours at towers that remain open, resulting in fewer controllers on site. When this happens, controllers space out the intervals between flights to ensure safety. This translates into fewer planes being able to take off and land per day.

According to DOT estimates, airports in major markets like Chicago, New York, and Atlanta will see 90-minute delays during peak hours.

The DOT has over 55,000 employees, of which the majority work at the Federal Aviation Administration, and air traffic controllers make up the largest group of FAA employees.

LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois chided lawmakers from his own party for not working with their Democratic colleagues.

“They’re hoping that maybe I can influence some of the people in my own party,” LaHood said of his appearance today at the White House.

LaHood suggested that the lawmakers watch the movie Lincoln to put the current matter in perspective and get a lesson in how hard it is to negotiate matters that are actually difficult. “This is not rocket science,” LaHood said, referring to the budget talks.

After the appearance, LaHood took to Twitter and his Fast Lane blog to argue his case further.

Clip of LaHood’s press conference:

Air Traffic Control Facilities That Could be Closed

Facility Name City State
BFM Mobile Downtown Mobile AL
DHN Dothan Regional Dothan AL
TCL Tuscaloosa Regional Tuscaloosa AL
ASG Springdale Municipal Springdale AR
FSM Fort Smith Tower Fort Smith AR
FYV Drake Field Fayetteville AR
ROG Rogers Municipal-Carter Field Rogers AR
TXK Texarkana Regional-Webb Field Texarkana AR
GEU Glendale Municipal Glendale AZ
GYR Phoenix Goodyear Goodyear AZ
IFP Laughlin/Bullhead International Bullhead City AZ
RYN Ryan Field Tucson AZ
APC Napa Tower Napa CA
CCR Concord Tower Concord CA
CMA Camarillo Tower Camarillo CA
EMT El Monte Tower El Monte CA
FUL Fullerton Municipal Fullerton CA
HHR Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Hawthorne CA
LVK Livermore Tower Livermore CA
MER Castle Atwater CA
OXR Oxnard Oxnard CA
PMD Palmdale Regional/USAF Plant 42 Palmdale CA
POC Brackett Tower La Verne CA
RAL Riverside Municipal Riverside CA
RNM Ramona Ramona CA
SAC Sacramento Executive Sacramento CA
SCK Stockton Tower Stockton CA
SDM Brown Field Municipal San Diego CA
SMO Santa Monica Tower Santa Monica CA
SNS Salinas Municipal Salinas CA
SQL San Carlos San Carlos CA
STS Charles M. Schultz-Sonoma County Santa Rosa CA
VCV Southern California Logistics Victorville CA
WHP Whiteman Los Angeles CA
WJF General William J. Fox Airfield Lancaster CA
BJC Broomfield Tower Westminster CO FTG Front Range Denver CO
BDR Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridgeport CT
DXR Danbury Municipal Danbury CT
GON Groton-New London New London CT
HFD Hartford-Brainard Hartford CT
HVN Tweed-New Haven New Haven CT
OXC Waterbury-Oxford Oxford CT
ILG Wilmington Tower New Castle DE
APF Naples Municipal Naples FL
BCT Boca Raton Boca Raton FL
CRG Craig Municipal Jacksonville FL
EVB New Smyrna Beach Municipal New Smyrna Beach FL
FMY Page Field Fort Myers FL
FPR St. Lucie County International Fort Pierce FL
HWO North Perry Hollywood FL
ISM Kissimmee Gateway Orlando FL
LAL Lakeland Linder Regional Lakeland FL
LEE Leesburg International Leesburg FL
OCF Ocala International-Jim Taylor Field Ocala FL
OMN Ormond Beach Municipal Ormond Beach FL
OPF Opa-Locka Executive Miami FL
ORL Orlando Executive Orlando FL
PGD Punta Gorda Punta Gorda FL
SGJ Northeast Florida Regional St. Augustine FL
SPG Albert Whitted St. Petersburg FL
SUA Witham Field Stuart FL
TIX Space Coast Regional Titusville FL
VQQ Cecil Jacksonville FL
ABY Southwest Georgia Regional Albany GA
AHN Athens-Ben Epps Athens GA
CSG Columbus Metropolitan Columbus GA
FTY Fulton County-Brown Field Atlanta GA
LZU Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field Lawrenceville GA
MCN Middle Georgia Regional Macon GA
RYY Cobb County-McCollum Field Atlanta GA
JRF Kalaeloa (John Rodgers Field) Kapolei HI
ALO Waterloo Tower Waterloo IA
DBQ Dubuque Regional Dubuque IA
SUX Sioux Gateway Sioux City IA
IDA Idaho Falls Regional Idaho Falls ID
LWS Lewiston-Nez Perce County Lewiston ID PIH Pocatello Regional Pocatello ID
SUN Friedman Memorial Hailey ID
TWF Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Twin Falls ID
ALN St. Louis Regional Alton/St. Louis IL
ARR Aurora Tower Sugar Grove IL
BMI Central Illinois Regional at Bloomington-Normal Bloomington-Normal IL
DEC Decatur Decatur IL
DPA Dupage West Chicago IL
MDH Southern Illinois Carbondale Carbondale IL
MWA Williamson County Regional Marion IL
SPI Springfield Tower Springfield IL
UGN Waukegan Regional Waukegan IL
BAK Columbus Municipal Columbus IN
BMG Monroe County Bloomington IN
GYY Gary/Chicago International Gary IN
HUF Terre Haute International-Hulman Field Terra Haute IN
LAF Lafayette Tower West Lafayette IN
MIE Delaware County Regional Muncie IN
FOE Forbes Field Topeka KS
GCK Garden City Regional Garden City KS
HUT Hutchinson Municipal Hutchinson KS
IXD New Century AirCenter Olathe KS
MHK Manhattan Regional Manhattan KS
OJC Johnson County Executive Olathe KS
TOP Philip Billard Municipal Topeka KS
LOU Bowman Tower Louisville KY
OWB Owensboro-Daviess County Owensboro KY
PAH Barkley Regional Paducah KY
CWF Chennault International Lake Charles LA
DTN Shreveport Downtown Shreveport LA
LCH Lake Charles Regional Lake Charles LA
MLU Monroe Regional Monroe LA
NEW Lakefront New Orleans LA
BAF Barnes Municipal Springfield MA
BVY Beverly Municipal Beverly MA
EWB New Bedford Regional New Bedford MA
LWM Lawrence Municipal Lawrence MA
ORH Worcester Regional Worcester MA
OWD Norwood Memorial Norwood MA
ESN Easton/Newnam Field Easton MD
FDK Frederick Municipal Frederick MD
HGR Hagerstown Regional-Richard A. Henson Field Hagerstown MD
MTN Martin State Baltimore MD
SBY Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Salisbury MD
ARB Ann Arbor Municipal Ann Arbor MI
BTL W.K. Kellogg Battle Creek MI
DET Coleman A. Young Municipal Detroit MI
JXN Jackson County-Reynolds Field Jackson MI
MKG Muskegon County Muskegon MI
SAW Sawyer International Marquette MI
ANE Anoka County-Blaine Airport (Janes Field) Minneapolis MN
FCM Flying Cloud Eden Prairie MN
MIC Crystal Tower Crystal MN
STC St. Cloud Regional St. Cloud MN
BBG Branson Branson MO
COU Columbia Regional Columbia MO
JEF Jefferson City Memorial Jefferson City MO
JLN Joplin Regional Joplin MO
STJ Rosecrans Memorial St. Joseph MO
GLH Mid Delta Regional Greenville MS
GTR Golden Triangle Regional Columbus MS
HKS Hawkins Field Jackson MS
HSA Stennis International Bay St. Louis MS
MEI Key Field Meridian MS
OLV Olive Branch Olive Branch MS
TUP Tupelo Regional Tupelo MS
GPI Glacier Park International Kalispell MT
HLN Helena Regional Helena MT
EWN Coastal Carolina Regional New Bern NC
HKY Hickory Regional Hickory NC
INT Smith Reynolds Winston Salem NC
ISO Kinston Regional Jetport at Stallings Field Kinston NC
JQF Concord Regional Concord NC
GRI Central Nebraska Regional Grand Island NE
ASH Boire Field Nashua NH
CDW Essex County Fairfield NJ
TTN Trenton Mercer Trenton NJ
AEG Double Eagle II Albuquerque NM
HOB Lea County Regional Hobbs NM
ROW Roswell International Air Center Roswell NM
SAF Santa Fe Municipal Santa Fe NM
BGM Binghamton Tower Johnson City NY
FOK Francis S. Gabreski Westhampton Beach NY
IAG Niagara Falls International Niagara Falls NY
ITH Ithaca Tomkins Regional Ithaca NY
POU Dutchess County Wappingers Falls NY
RME Griffiss International Rome NY
CGF Cuyahoga County Cleveland OH
MFD Mansfield Tower Mansfield OH
OSU Ohio State University Columbus OH
TZR Bolton Field Columbus OH
YNG Youngstown-Warren Regional Vienna OH
ADM Ardmore Municipal Ardmore OK
LAW Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Lawton OK
OUN University of Oklahoma Westheimer Norman OK
PWA Wiley Post Oklahoma City OK
SWO Stillwater Regional Stillwater OK
WDG Enid Wooding Regional Enid OK
LMT Klamath Falls Klamath Falls OR
OTH Southwest Oregon Regional North Bend OR
PDT Eastern Oregon Regional at Pendleton Pendleton OR
SLE McNary Field Salem OR
TTD Portland-Troutdale Portland OR
CXY Capital City Harrisburg PA
IPT Williamsport Regional Williamsport PA
LBE Arnold Palmer Regional Latrobe PA
LNS Lancaster Lancaster PA
PNE Northeast Philadelphia Philadelphia PA
RDG Reading Regional-Carl A. Spaatz Field Reading PA
CRE Grand Strand North Myrtle Beach SC
FLO Florence Regional Florence SC
GYH Donaldson Center Greenville SC
HXD Hilton Head Hilton Head Island SC
MKL McKellar-Sipes Regional Jackson TN
MQY Smyrna Smyrna TN
NQA Millington Regional Jetport Millington TN
ACT Waco Regional Waco TX
BAZ New Braunfels Municipal New Braunfels TX
BPT Jack Brooks Regional Beaumont TX
BRO Brownsville/South Padre Island International Brownsville TX
CLL Easterwood Field College Station TX
CXO Lone Star Executive Houston TX
FWS Fort Worth Spinks Fort Worth TX
GGG East Texas Regional Longview TX
GKY Arlington Municipal Arlington TX
GPM Grand Prairie Municipal Grand Prairie TX
GTU Georgetown Municipal Georgetown TX
HYI San Marcos Municipal San Marcos TX
RBD Dallas Executive Dallas TX
SGR Sugar Land Regional Houston TX
SSF Stinson Municipal San Antonio TX
TKI Collin County Regional at McKinney Dallas TX
TYR Tyler Pounds Regional Tyler TX
VCT Victoria Regional Victoria TX
OGD Ogden-Hinckley Ogden UT
PVU Provo Municipal Provo UT
HEF Manassas Regional/Harry P. Davis Field Manassas VA
LYH Lynchburg Regional/Preston Glenn Field Lynchburg VA
ALW Walla Walla Regional Walla Walla WA
MWH Grant County International Moses Lake WA
OLM Olympia Regional Olympia WA
PAE Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) Everett WA
RNT Renton Municipal Renton WA
SFF Felts Field Spokane WA
TIW Tacoma Narrows Tacoma WA
YKM Yakima Air Terminal/McAllister Field Yakima WA
CWA Central Wisconsin Mosinee WI
EAU Chippewa Valley Regional Eau Claire WI
ENW Kenosha Regional Kenosha WI
JVL Southern Wisconsin Regional Janesville WI
LSE La Crosse Municipal La Crosse WI
MWC Lawrence J. Timmerman Milwaukie WI
OSH Wittman Regional Oshkosh WI
UES Waukesha County Waukesha WI
CKB North Central West Virginia Bridgeport WV
HLG Wheeling Ohio County Wheeling WV
HTS Tri-State Milton J. Ferguson Field Huntington WV
LWB Greenbrier Valley Lewisburg WV
PKB Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Parkersburg WV
CYS Cheyenne Regional/Jerry Olson Field Cheyenne WY

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Tags: dot, labor, lahood, politics, sequester

Photo credit: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood speaks at the White House in Washington February 22, 2013. Larry Downing / Reuters

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