Budget cuts set to come into effect March 1 if Congress can't reach a deal might mean trouble for travelers. The $85 billion "sequestration" cuts would deal a blow to air traffic control, reports International Business Times.
According to USA Today, "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the 'vast majority' of the Federal Aviation Administration's 47,000 workers would be furloughed one day from every two-week pay period through September, with a maximum of two days per every two weeks."
"Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country," the President warned in a speech Tuesday, printed on the White House blog. And, as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Associated Press, that means screening lines at busy U.S. airports could grow by up to an hour.
Back in 2011, nearly 4,000 employees were furloughed as Congress struggled to agree on legislation reauthorizing the FAA's operating budget. Some employees, though, were asked to continue working because their jobs are important for air safety. They had to do so at their own expense before Congress allocated money to the agency.