By Chris Raia
Reporting By Steve Nielsen
WARWICK, R.I. — T.F. Green Airport passengers – and employees – are bracing themselves for some serious changes that could be on the horizon.
The looming sequester scheduled for the beginning of March would cut the federal aviation administration’s budget by $600 million. A budget cut of this proportion would force the FAA to trim their staff and put thousands of workers on furlough. Roughly half of the air traffic control facilities at regional airports will be forced to close.
These changes would lead to fewer flights, which means more delays.
Fewer employees lead to less overnight shifts, which makes it more difficult for airports to create efficient flight schedules while maintaining their passengers’ safety.
“They won’t put our safety in jeopardy; therefore, there will be delays to our flights,” said Carl Richardson, Travel Expert for AAA. “They’ll make sure they have enough staff to land the planes safely, but it does mean a slow down for you and I.”
In addition to fewer flights, the sequester could create significant security delays. Budget cuts would increase a typical wait time by as much an an hour at airport security checkpoints.