With federal budget cuts looming, air travelers at Atlanta's airport are wondering how aviation cuts will affect their future trips.
If the budget cuts take effect Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration will have to cut $600 million from its budget. It remained unclear exactly how those cuts will be implemented. But it's possible that airline passengers will see longer lines at security checkpoints.
The FAA is considering cutting out overtime or issuing furloughs – unpaid days off – for TSA screeners.
John Bauer of Kansas City often flies in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on business trips.
"It would be hard because you'd have to get there earlier," Bauer said. "And timing wise, sometimes I have to get up earlier, or if I'm at a meeting, then I would have to leave meetings earlier to get to the airport and wait through lines."
"I hate to see it, because it's already taking us so long to get in," said airline passenger Cynthia Smith.
Air traffic controllers say if they are forced to take furloughs, it could cause a runway to temporarily close at Hartsfield-Jackson, which could then cause flight delays.
At metro Atlanta's smaller airports like McCollum Field, Briscoe Field And Charlie Brown Airport, officials might have to close the towers altogether. That would mean pilots would have to rely solely on their on-board technology for landings and takeoffs.
The biggest of the budget effects likely would not kick in until April.
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