Saturday, May 26, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact: Will the sequester delay air travel?

The statement

"There's going to be a slowdown and delays in flights" as a result of the sequester.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in an interview

The ruling

Sequestration will force the Federal Aviation Administraion to carve $600 million from its budget. But Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with the advisory firm Hudson Crossing, said much of the real effect of the sequester is unknown.

"We don't know whether airlines will cancel flights and, if so, how many, the routes, time of day, and so on," he said.

Sequestration does not allow federal agencies to shift money between departments — say delaying an equipment order to keep paying air traffic controllers. But they can still prioritize under their reduced budget, cutting more deeply in administrative staff or contracting staff.

You've probably heard about the groan-worthy notion of 90-minute delays in major cities.

DOT spokesman Justin Nisly told PolitiFact that officials went into the field and asked district managers at airports how they would manage potential employee furloughs and what the impact would be. They found that at many airports, the work of getting airplanes to take off and land safely couldn't function at full capacity if there were furloughs.

That means "delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours for travelers to major cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco," Nisly said.

Erik Hansen, director of domestic policy at the U.S. Travel Association, which promotes increased travel to and within the United States, said sequestration will inevitably make an already cumbersome process worse.

"This could be the one place that most Americans see the impact of sequestration," Hansen said. "It's going to have a real impact on communities and the defense industry, but I think for everyday Americans — we have almost 2 million people fly in the country every day. We're going to have a lot of people understand quickly the impact."

In the end, the Obama administration has a fair amount of leeway to reduce the impact on some travelers. But it appears clear that some FAA employees will have to be taken off the job, and that will diminish the functioning of the nation's airports.

The rating: Mostly True.

Molly Moorhead, Times staff writer This report has been edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

WASHINGTON — A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a s...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Published: 05/26/18
North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions Thursday as a group of foreign journalists looked on. The explosi...
Published: 05/24/18
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Published: 05/23/18
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18