U.S. Sequestration Update--FAA Announces Potential Facility & Staffing Impacts

Executive Summary: FAA has sent a letter to ACI-NA and the other key aviation associations regarding expected impacts of sequestration on FAA facilities and operations.  As noted in the letter, the FAA is planning to reduce its expeditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of federal fiscal year 2013 (e.g., through September 30, 2013).  These impacts included possible full-time and nighttime closures of airport traffic control towers as well as furloughs of FAA staff.  All impacts are "under consideration" and subject to change. Per the letter, the proposed impacts will not take effect until April 1, 2013.

Who is Impacted: Airports in the United States, especially (1) large hub airports, which could experience significant flight delays due to air traffic controller furloughs and deferred equipment maintenance and (2) towered airports with less than 150,000 annual operations or less than 10,000 annual commercial operations, where airport traffic control towers could be closed.

What is ACI-NA Doing: ACI-NA is closely coordinating with officials from both the FAA Office of Airport, FAA Air Traffic Organization, and other key aviation associations (A4A, RAA, and AAAE) to better understand the scope and likelihood of the actions outlined in the FAA's letter.  We will also be attending a meeting on Tuesday with senior FAA officials at which these impacts will be discussed.  ACI-NA has also been meeting with Members of Congress to warn them of the devastating impacts sequestration could have on airport operations, particularly with the probability of hundreds, even thousands, of key Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel being furloughed.  

Suggested Airport Actions: ACI-NA encourages airports to reach out to local airline, FAA, TSA and (if applicable) CBP officials to prepare for sequestration impacts.  We also encourage member airports to reach out to their members of Congress to convey how they will be adversely impacted by the sequester.  ACI-NA will be working next week to gather information for airports to use in these discussions.