Fiscal cliff's possible impact on air travel - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Fiscal cliff's possible impact on air travel

AP Photo AP Photo

Washington, D.C. - If Washington lawmakers let the government fall off the so-called fiscal cliff, it could mess up travel plans for a lot of people.

The automatic spending cuts that will go into effect without a congressional budget cutting deal would run deep for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) paints a dire picture of what could happen. It says 250 small airports might have to close, 1,500 air traffic controllers would be laid off and thousands of TSA screeners could get pink slips.

AIA's President and C.E.O. Marion Blakey said, "in the 56 years of the FAA's history, there has not been anything that has been as threatening as sequestration." Blakey is also a former FAA Administrator.

TSA Administration John Pistole said, "the bottom line is to keep the front line operations in full force, to keep the movement of people and goods moving smoothly."

The worst case scenario may sound grim, but many industry leaders are taking a wait and see approach.

It all depends on the lame duck congress which has about six weeks to figure out where to make cuts to avoid the cliff.

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