Naples Airport could see impacts from federal cuts
NAPLES, Fla.- President Obama ordered cuts in US spending Friday night after lawmakers failed to reach a deal. One of the areas impacted could be airports.
Bill Barry waits at Southwest Florida International Airport for his son to arrive from Boston.
He's up on all government news and reads 3 newspapers a day.
"If you're talking about the sequester, I think it's really a disgrace they couldn't come up with a game plan to solve it."
President Obama put into effect all across the board government cuts.
"When you look at the total number involved, it shouldn't happen. The government should be able to solve a $85 billion dollar problem," said Barry.
$600 million dollars alone is expected to be cut from the Federal Transportation Department.
The cuts could lead to fewer TSA agents to check bags which could lead to longer wait times for travelers.
"Nobody should have to wait in lines at the airport, nobody should have planes delayed," said Barry.
Patricia Kimel is from Venice, Florida. She worries about the smaller airports.
Air traffic control towers at airports with fewer than 150,000 flights a year could close. Those are airports like Page Field, Punta Gorda and Naples. To get flights in the air, staff may need towers from other airports.
"I'm not really happy about it because some of the closer airports to us would be impacted, Port Charlotte and Sarasota- Bradenton," said Kimel.
So what can we expect in Southwest Florida? In an email, Ted Soliday, the executive director of the Naples Airport Authority tells Fox 4, Naples is one of 3 towers in Southwest Florida listed for possible closure. He adds closing the tower would have a major impact on the community and he won't let it happen even if the airport has to amend its budget and pay for it.
The maximum impact the sequestration will have on air travel will be felt during the summer.
Government agencies will now begin to cut a total of $85 billion from their budget between Saturday and October 1st.
"You really don't know til it gets into about a month from now, then we'll find out," said Kimel.