"If sequestration is not stopped, it will be by far the most devastating budget cut to the FAA in its 54 years. The FAA is a critical safety organization that regulates our national air transportation system. Putting it at risk is folly beyond comparison."
Former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who provided those comments last August during an Aerospace Industries Association event, is just one of countless current and former politicians who underscored the dire nature of sequestration. Now that the day that many thought would never arrive finally has, industries affected by sequestration are planning for the first few months of a long adjustment process.
The aviation industry is just one of them.
With Federal Aviation Administration employees facing one-day furloughs during each of their pay periods, airports around the country will be understaffed. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has predicted that it would face similar furloughs, as well as the loss of some 100 towers at low-traffic facilities. How airports handle these shortages will determine the effects on passengers and air cargo. Some pundits have predicted long waits for passengers.
Meanwhile, Louis Miller, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's aviation general manager, told Air Cargo World that he and his staff have considered closing runways at certain times of the day to account for the lost human capital. This would not only delay departures in Atlanta, but would also have a domino effect on arrivals at other airports.
This is the reality facing those with a stake in supply chain efficiency. While the effects of sequestration will not kick in until later this spring, now is the time for businesses to adopt a proof of condition solution. The benefits these solutions provide may not overcome the delays resulting from sequestration, but they certainly cannot be detrimental.