Tower at Casper-Natrona County Airport Likely Not to be Impacted by Sequester
With many passengers now experiencing longer flight delays and increased security checkpoint wait times, some airport officials say they’re already feeling the strain of sequestration.
On Tuesday, Federal Aviation Administration officials said that, starting next month, the agency will shut down over 170 control towers at small and medium-sized airports across the country.
Casper-Natrona County International Airport manager Glenn Januska says air traffic control operations at his airport will likely not be affected.
“The towers that will be affected are towers with less than 150,000 total operations and less than 10,000 commercial operations,” Januska said. “Though our airport has less than 150,000 total operations, we have more than 10,000 commercial operations, so we’re not one of the towers that would be slated, at this time, for any change.”
Januska says some airport security and weather services funded by federal dollars will eventually be impaired by sequestration. Construction at the airport, however, will continue as scheduled.
“The users of the aviation system pay into an aviation trust fund, and that’s where we get a lot of dollars for capital improvements and capital development,” Januska said. “That’s not a program that’s subject to the sequester.”
On Monday, Transportation Security Administration secretary Janet Napolitano said that, since sequestration began, security wait lines have grown by as much as 200 percent at some major airports, including Los Angeles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport near Atlanta.