Averting a crisis for the airline industry and ensuring the continued safety of passengers
SERVICE: Policy Development, Advocacy Materials
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Transportation and Infrastructure
- As a result of the across-the-board funding reductions in federal programs through the budget sequestration process, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began to furlough personnel, including 15,000 air traffic controllers, and moved to shut down 149 of 516 air traffic control towers in the U.S. The cuts put airline passengers at greater risk, resulted in thousands of flight delays, and had an adverse impact on the communities served by these airports
- Devised a bipartisan, bicameral strategy to build support for legislation aimed at giving the FAA greater flexibility to prevent reduced operations and staffing. This included a tailored education campaign for a core group of lawmakers that explained the harmful effects of sequestration on the FAA, with an emphasis on safety, jobs, and the economy. Offered a reasonable solution that did not require Congress to either authorize or appropriate any additional funding.
- Legislation was passed that allowed the FAA to waive the sequestration rules and divert $253 million from an existing grant program to pay for personnel costs, averting what could have been a crisis for the airline industry, passengers, and the countless businesses that serve them.