Sequester pressure

Security at the Grand Junction Regional Airport. With $85 million in federal spending cuts on the doorstep, Grand Valley residents stand to be affected.

Passengers planning to depart from Grand Junction Regional Airport should arrive at least two hours early, as the sequester kicks in today.

The Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Transportation Security Administration, told Congress that the TSA would “reduce its frontline workforce, which would substantially increase passenger wait times at airport security checkpoints” in response to sequestration.

That’s exactly what he expects to see, Grand Junction Regional Airport Manager Rex Tippetts said Thursday.

Federal agencies are choosing to cut “the things that are going to be the most painful and visible to the general public,” Tippetts said.

Over recent years, passengers have cut it closer when arriving to board their flights, but now they’d be advised to be in the airport well in advance of their flights, Tippetts said.

The Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, also will reduce services as it meets a funding cut of $600 million, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s letter to Senate appropriators.

“This action would force the FAA to undergo an immediate retrenchment of core functions by reducing operating costs and eliminating or reducing services to various segments of the flying community.”

Most of the FAA’s almost 47,000 employees will be furloughed one day per pay period.


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