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Potential Cuts Could Affect Columbia Metropolitan Airport

7:47 PM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX)- If sequestration takes effect, the Federal Aviation Administration plans to reduce its expenditures by nearly $600 million for the rest of fiscal year 2013.

The cuts backs could affect travel here in South Carolina.

The FAA would eliminate overnight staffing at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport and the Charleston airport. Three other S.C. airports would be affected: towers at Hilton Head, The Donaldson Center in Greenville and Florence Regional Airport would be completely shut down.

"There is just a lot that we don't know right now," said Lynne Douglas, Customer Service Manager at CAE. "If it were to happen, we are not concerned it would interrupt our operations. There are a number of airports across the country that do not have overnight staffing. We would be able to operate as normal."

The airport control tower employees are employed by the FAA. There are a minimum of two controllers during the midnight-5am shift.

"There is a regional operation center in Florida that would watch over our operations here in Columbia. Again, it would not cause us to cease any operations here," said Douglas.

The FAA expects to implement the changes April 1st if Congress doesn't find a way to avoid or postpone the budget cuts.

The sequestration would bring about steady cuts over the next 10 years until the nation's budget is reduced by more than a trillion dollars.




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