S. Transportation Department faces a $1 billion budget cut if mandatory spending cuts take affect March 1, which would reduce U.S. air travel, but not curtail vehicle safety programs.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Senate Appropriations Committee in a letter released Thursday that the sequestration cuts — $85 billion this year to domestic and defense programs — would require more than $600 million in cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration.
The vast majority of the FAA's 47,000 employees would be furloughed at least one day per pay period
"The furlough of a large number of air traffic controllers and technicians will require a reduction in air traffic to a level that can be safely managed by the remaining staff," LaHood wrote. "The result will be felt across the country, as the volume of travel must be decreased."