In the face of projected cuts by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Homeland Security (DHS) who manages the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - Airlines for America (A4A) has offered support for legislation that would minimize the impact of sequestration cuts on the public.
A4A expressed strong support for an amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to provide federal agencies the flexibility to determine which employees are essential personnel, and minimize the impact to services essential to air travel as they implement budget cuts required from sequestration.
Both agencies have projected that cuts and expected furloughs at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would negatively impact air travel.
“A4A expects and urges federal agencies, including CBP, TSA and the FAA to minimize sequestration’s impact on airlines and our customers, and we strongly support Sen. Blunt’s amendment, which provides additional flexibility for federal officials to effectively manage and maintain essential public services, while meeting the requirements of the sequester,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.
“We thank Sen. Blunt for his leadership, and encourage his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this amendment, which will help ensure that the 2 million customers and 50,000 tons of cargo that fly every day are not negatively impacted," Calio said.
Calio noted the FAA employed a similar model of identifying essential personnel during a two-week shutdown in 2011, following a funding impasse. During that time, no flights were delayed or canceled due to the FAA shutdown,A4A said.