AUSTIN (KXAN) — Headaches could soon turn into migraines for flyers if the Federal Aviation Administration is forced to cut $600 million within six months due to the automatic cuts generated by the sequestration.
More than 100 air traffic control towers could be targeted to close and travelers could experience delays of 90 minutes to major airport hub cities.
At Austin Bergstrom International Airport, the control tower's midnight shift will likely be cut, along with 60 other towers across the country.
The majority of the FAA's 47,000 employees will also be forced to take a furlough day every two weeks.
When it comes to who is manning those incoming and outgoing flights, the FAA might have less air traffic controllers working at any given time -- which in turn reduces the number of fights the airport can handle, which means canceled flights and more delays for you.
The FAA and US Secretary of Transportation sent out a letter that includes this statement.
"Safety is our top priority, and in the course of implementing the operational changes, we may reduce the efficiency of the national airspace in order to maintain the highest safety standards."
But the cuts don't stop there.
Control towers at smaller airports are subject to close completely and on that list are: Georgetown, San Marcos and New Braunfels.
The airports will be able to stay open but operating as an uncontrolled airfield leaving the pilots responsible for their flight.
You could see those delays and canceled flights starting in April when the FAA will start to enforce the furlough days, which could drop the FAA's workforce by 10 percent on any given day.
As far as cargo planes like FedEx and UPS, it is their discretion to fly during the hours the control tower is not manned.
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