Mixed feelings at BWI about sequester

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

BALTIMORE – Sequestration appears to be a reality and airports are gearing up for what could be a turbulent ride ahead.

BWI Thurgood Marshall, which saw a record 22 million passengers last year, is expected to be one of the hubs heavily affected.

“That would definitely impact my travel,” says one woman who flies for her job four to five times each month.

“It would cause me to miss a lot of my meetings.”

According to the Department of Transportation, airports like BWI should brace for routine flight delays of 60 to 90 minutes.

The DOT legally must slash $1 billion from its budget, and more than half will come from the FAA.

That means furloughs and cutbacks for employees from air traffic controllers to security personnel.

“This sequester is disruptive to the economic engine represented by this airport,” says Rep. John Sarbanes, D-MD. “(The airport) is one of the most critical assets in Maryland and the region.”

The congressman highlighted the hub alongside fellow Maryland lawmakers from D.C., including U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-MD.

“There are going to be delays,” warns Cardin. “There are going to be cancelled flights, and there are going to be a lot of angry passengers.”

No matter how much doom lawmakers spread about the sequester, there are still some out there who see nothing but political posturing.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” says one passenger who flies at least once a month.

“I don’t believe anything out of Washington D.C.”

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