Sequestration a Looming Concern for NextGen
Statement by AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes House and Senate passage of the conference report on H.R. 658, the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.” It is critical to FAA operations and offers stability and predictability to the aviation industry instead of the uncertainty fueled by one short-term extension after another.
We have been advocating strongly and consistently since 2007 for a full reauthorization bill. This bill, which we urge President Obama to sign, will help make our skies safer, cleaner and less congested. Its management reforms and new policies will provide much-needed changes in the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, helping to spur the economy by generating thousands of private sector jobs while ensuring our national air transportation system remains second to none.
However, not to spoil the party before it’s even started, a major concern on the horizon is the specter of sequestration in January 2013. Because most of FAA’s funding pays for daily operations of the national aerospace system, NextGen will be vulnerable to a disproportionately larger share of cuts if sequestration takes effect. It’s imperative that Congress not ignore this issue – avoiding sequestration needs to be a priority now.