AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: Budget Expert Scott Lilly on Airport Closures Under Sequestration

Washington, D.C. — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood presented today the likely impact of the federal sequester on the nation’s air travel. It is expected that more than 100 air traffic control towers at small airports might be forced to close due to the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, would be forced to furlough a majority of its employees for one or two days per pay period. Scott Lilly, CAP Senior Fellow and former director of the House Appropriations Committee, is available to comment on this development.

Last summer Lilly authored a CAP report predicting the fate of air travel in the face of a federal sequester, concluding that more than 100 airports would have their doors shuttered. In a follow-up report, he detailed alternative options for the FAA, explaining that rather than closing airports entirely, the agency could reduce flights nationwide by closing airports one day every week.

“The FAA is only one small example of the kind of mindless economic chaos that these across-the-board cuts are likely to create,” said Lilly. “National parks will be closed. Key regulatory functions will be curtailed. Law enforcement will be crippled. Border security will be sacrificed. And our capacity to deal with problems around the world—such as the issues in Syria and North Korea—or the new government in Egypt will be compromised.”

To speak with Scott Lilly, please contact Katie Peters at kpeters@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6285.

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