Area airports scan skies for news of sequester

With the impending onset of the federal sequester, airport officials are scanning the horizon for impacts of budget cuts.

Federal agencies are awaiting specific instructions on how to make reductions across all programs. That includes agencies with a presence at area airports, which say they don’t yet have much information to share with passengers.

Kevin Raymond of the Atlantic City International Airport said he’s been told the airport’s control tower could be closed overnights — when the airport has few flights.

Raymond, who said he doesn’t know what the hours of closure will be, says it “shouldn’t have that much noticeable impact.”

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“There’ll be some behind-the-scene things we need to do,” he said. Impacts on the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security “and all those things remains to be seen. “

The Philadelphia International Airport has not received any details either, said spokeswoman Victoria Lupica.

“We remain focused on the safety and security of our passengers and our goal is certainly to minimize any disruption to any travel,” she said.

The Northeast Philadelphia Airport tower may shut down, but the airport would still remain operational. At some facilities, required negotiations with employee unions could delay staffing reductions for several weeks.

The TSA said the onset of sequestration will be gradual. But, as the travel season nears and a resolution eludes Congress, travelers can expect lengthening waits in airport security lines at most major airports.

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