This week, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta laid out the FAA’s plan if mandatory federal budget cuts go into effect on March 1. He indicated that sequestration will mean furloughs, shuttered control towers, slowed NextGen modernization programs, selective repairs of navigation aids, and a “steady ratcheting down” of FAA operations. According to AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Melissa Rudinger, general aviation will suffer the greatest impacts of sequestration.
Because the budget reduction program requires percentage-based cuts across the board, all FAA programs will be vulnerable, including control towers under the FAA’s Contract Tower Program, which are expected to gradually close. Eventually Lockheed-Martin Flight Service and DUAT flight planning will also be affected. Advocacy groups, including AOPA, are pushing for a legislative solution before the March 1 deadline.