The Republicans in the US House of Representatives want to cut the budget for flight operations in the USA massively. Unfortunately, this could have devastating consequences for summer flight operations and may lead to flight chaos.
The head of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Billy Nolen, sounds the alarm in an open letter to the US Congress. The background is the savings approved by the US House of Representatives in connection with the FAA. The letter said that this budget cut makes it more difficult to modernize the FAA's technology. The authority's outdated IT system triggered numerous flight cancellations in December 2022 and January 2023.
If the budget cut goes through, Nolen said the FAA would be forced to lay off employees and stop hiring new air traffic controllers. That would have devastating effects on air traffic in summer and may cause flight chaos.
"We are talking about a possible reduction in staff of up to ten percent, which corresponds to more than 4,000 employees," said the FAA chief to US media.
At the end of April, the US House of Representatives passed legislation raising the debt limit. At the same time, however, the Republicans in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee pushed through their demands for cuts in domestic spending, which also affects the FAA. However, the last word has not been said. The proposed legislation must still be approved by the US Senate and signed by US President Joe Biden before it comes into effect.