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Spending ‘Sequester’ Not Expected To Have Immediate Impact On Philly Air Travelers

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(Airline passengers waiting in line.  File photo by David Madden)

(Airline passengers waiting in line. File photo by David Madden)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you have air travel scheduled after Friday, and you’ve been wondering whether automatic federal budget cuts will affect your plans, the answer appears to be no — at least for the near future.

Yes, the automatic cuts will impact airports, but not in ways that most passengers will feel.  The Department of Homeland Security says staffing will be cut at ports of entry, meaning international travelers could experience delays which could cause problems if they are meeting connecting flights.

But other operations at Philadelphia International Airport shouldn’t be affected.

The Federal Aviation Administration would cut air traffic controllers at smaller airports.  The towers at Northeast Airport, Wilmington, and Trenton all would close, but the FAA says those airports could continue to operate under “uncontrolled” flight rules, in which pilots talk to each other on a dedicated frequency.

The tower at Atlantic City airport would close overnight, but could continue to receive scheduled airline flights during the day.

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