Sequestration Impacts Local Airports

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Updated: 3/04/2013 10:53 pm
        With all this talk of the sequestration cuts starting to take place, we could see some of those impacts at out local airports. Summer Joy has the details. 

        The Sequestration Act is a spending cut on federal agencies, that means we could see effects on the transportation security administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.  One of the possibilities is furloughs for our local Transportation Security Administration officers and every two weeks a TSA officer would have to take an unpaid day off.

        Out of the 200 airports in Idaho that could see sequestration cuts in the Airport Traffic Control division, one of them is right behind me at the Pocatello Airport. An announcement came from the White house that they were going to close all the local air traffic control towers in Idaho except for Boise, at the Pocatello airport that means a loss up to four jobs.

        "There is a couple of thing that is does. It provides that extra layer of safety and we like having a tower here because it is a positive controlled airport and we do like that rather than do the protocol that's normally in place for the control towers. The other thing is it lends a little sense of authority to the airport. It's much easier to attract aviation business to the airport when you have a controlled tower," said David Allen, the Pocatello Airport Manager.

        The Boise Air Traffic Controllers currently operates air traffic for Pocatello after 10 pm, but could soon take over those duties full time. 

        "They won't jeopardize safety, they won't jeopardize security, so we will always have those two elements whether we do it the same way or not is going to be the only difference," added Allen.  

        Looking to the future Allen says they hope to grow and even expand with a new jet way in 2014. Even with these possible furloughs and the tower controller being in Boise, business at the Pocatello airport will continue as normal. 

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