The impact of a sequester on air travel - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

The impact of a sequester on air travel

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PHOENIX -

Lawmakers are now just four days away from a deadline to agree on a budget deal -- or else automatic spending cuts known as sequestration go into effect.

It was a plan first pushed by President Obama back in 2011.

Republicans agreed, because back then, many leaders in Washington thought it would be a good way to force both sides to come to an agreement.

Monday, President Obama addressed the issue with governors from around the country, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

"Unfortunately in just four days, congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts to kick in that will slow our economy, eliminate good jobs, and leave a lot of folks who are already pretty thinly stretched scrambling to figure out what to do," said Obama.

"The president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester, well Mr. President you got your tax increase, it is time to cut spending here in Washington," said John Boehner, House Speaker.

According to the White House, one area that could be affected by the cuts is air travel. These cuts are under 4 percent of the total budget for one year.

Slashing the FAA's budget may have an impact in the valley. Thousands of air traffic controllers would be furloughed, and those first cuts would happen at smaller airports.

An aviation expert we talked to isn't too concerned, saying it's all part of a political game.

"There's a lot of drum beating going on but the truth of the matter is that it won't have any effect at all," said ASU Professor Michael Pearson. "A lot of airports do not have air traffic controllers."

In fact, private pilots landing at small airports rely on FAA radar to determine when it's safe to land.

FOX 10's Kelly Hessedal has more.

White House Report: Federal Funding Cuts Impact
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/sequester-factsheets/Arizona.pdf

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