Sequestration at FAA
August 15, 2013
August 15, 2013
This afternoon, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta hosted a meeting of a dozen aviation industry stakeholders to discuss initial planning for the next round of sequestration, slated to kick-in in early 2014 unless Congress acts. AAAE Gov President Todd Hauptli attended for AAAE. Huerta reviewed the FY2013 actions taken by the agency (which involved reductions of $486 million) and indicated that the FY2014 target would be $697 million.
For FY2014, the Administrator outlined nearly $500 million in cuts through reductions in overtime, travel, contracts, service cuts and attrition and hiring freezes. WIth over $100 million in mandated pay increases, the FAA would still have an unresolved shortfall of $337 million.
In outlining possible additional cuts to meet the required $697 million, the Administrator discussed a series of "bad choices" including furloughs, deferring controller hiring, reductions in the efficiency of the system and shrinkage of services.
Specific examples of shrinking services identified by the Administrator included phased out funding for contract towers, flight service stations, and contract weather observers, with the explanation that "this allows FAA to target remaining resources to serve the largest number of passengers at the most utilized locations."
The Administrator indicated that he believed a broad sequestration solution needed to be implemented, not a rifle shot "one year fix". He also expressed his concern about the challenges associated with a series of shot-term continuing resolutions.
He pledged to remain in contact with the aviation industry as the process moves forward.