Sequestration could mean less staff, longer waits at BGM

By Matt Hicks

February 23, 2013 Updated Feb 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The federal government could be looking at automatic budget cuts by this time next week if they fail to reach a budget deal.

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, this could bring a big hit to small airports.

LaHood announced Friday that the Department of Transopration would have to cut nearly $1 billion. More than $600 million of that would come from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Locally, 27 FAA workers could be furloughed at the Greater Binghamton Airport.

Carl Beardsley Jr., Broome County's commissioner of aviation, said Friday losing good jobs in this economy would be hard. But he added this course of action is only possible and not final.

With fewer staff, trips to major cities could be delayed by as much as 90 minutes, Beardsley said. More than 100 air traffic control towers could also face closure at the nation's smallest airports, which includes Binghamton and Ithaca.

Beardsley said he has reached out to representatives in Washington about the issue.