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Bob Hope Airport safe from sequestration cuts, so far

Bob Hope Airport safe from sequestration cuts, so far
A Southwest jet taxis for take off at the Bob Hope Airport.
(Times Community News)

Bob Hope Airport will avoid the impact of $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts that are slated for midnight Friday -- a move that officials warn will force a scale back in operations at airfields across the nation.

A last-minute huddle between President Obama and congressional leaders in the Oval Office Friday morning failed to produce a compromise to forestall the automatic spending cuts all sides say they want to avoid, the L.A. Times reported.


The spending cuts, known as sequestration, will impact the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration, which have warned that they will be forced to scale down operations at airports.

In a statement, Marsha Catron, deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, warned of increased wait times that could double at the nation’s largest airports.
“Lines and wait times will increase as reductions to overtime and the inability to backfill positions for attrition occur,” she said.


For now, however, Bob Hope Airport isn’t part of the mandatory cuts, and so will be continuing operations as usual, according to airport spokesman Victor Gill.

“There are no immediate impacts going on and you’ve got to stay tuned,” Gill said. “You just have to wait and see the discussions Congress and Obama are having, that’s where the action is.”

The FAA has released lists of air traffic control facilities that could have their overnight shifts eliminated -- including Ontario Airport’s tower -- or be shut down completely, a move that will impact mostly smaller municipal airports.

Bob Hope Airport doesn’t show up on either list, nor do Los Angeles International, Long Beach or John Wayne airports.


Air traffic controllers and TSA security agents are federal employees -- not airport employees -- so Bob Hope Airport isn’t facing any potential furlough of its own employees, said Gill.

-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal