March 01, 2013

Cardin, Cummings, Sarbanes & Delaney Hold Press Conference At BWI Airport To Talk About Impact Of Sequestration On Air Travel And Regional Economy

Sequestration Begins to Take Affect March 1

 

BALTIMORE, MD -- U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), U.S. Congressmen  Elijah Cummings (MD-7), John Sarbanes (MD-3) and John Delaney (MD-6) today joined Maryland aviation officials at a press conference at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to discuss the impact of sequestration and what it will mean to air travelers, federal employees who work at the airport and the regional economy.  In 2012, BWI Marshall set an all-time record of 22.68 million passengers and 246.4 million pounds of cargo. 

Sequestration – automatic, across-the-board spending cuts – began to take effect today.  Unless Congress acts, sequestration requires $42.7 billion in cuts to defense programs and another $42.7 billion in cuts to non-defense programs over the next year. 

“Sequestration is going to take a tremendous toll on Marylanders and our economy,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee.  “Air travelers will feel its effects, which will increase as these indiscriminate cuts continue.  BWI Marshall Airport is an important economic hub for our state, transporting millions of passengers and millions of pounds of cargo a year. Sequestration is a self-inflicted wound that will mean long lines for passengers, hurt business and result in furloughs for workers and a loss of revenue for our state.”

“Sequestration slashes funding for TSA agents and air traffic controllers, while preserving tax loopholes for big oil companies and other special interests. This makes no sense,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “Keeping BWI operating efficiently is critical to our state’s economy. It serves as a vital regional transportation hub for both travelers and cargo.”

“The sequester is a bad way to deal with deficit reduction and will likely have a negative effect on our economy, particularly Maryland's economy. The cost of doing nothing is not nothing. These poorly-constructed cuts are bad for the country and bad for Maryland. Because we failed to take the necessary steps to deal with our deficit in a balanced way we find ourselves facing a mini-doomsday machine in the sequester. The American people support a balanced approach. It’s time for us to come together, negotiate in good faith, and find a solution,” said Congressman Delaney.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has warned that sequestration would force the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reduce expenditures by $600 million for the remainder of FY 2013.  FAA officials estimate that such reductions could result in furloughs for employees that could cause serious delays and longer lines for passengers because of reductions to Customs and TSA employees, flight tower staffing levels, FAA airfield and equipment inspectors, baggage screeners and handlers. Additionally, delays of some capital improvement projects could occur at airports nationwide.

BWI Marshall is an important economic engine to Maryland that creates and supports almost 94,000 jobs, $3.6 billion in personal income, $5.6 billion in business revenue, and over $2.0 billion in local purchases. Combined, the tax contribution for BWI Marshall is more than $721 million per year. Southwest Airlines, the leading carrier at BWI Marshall Airport, served more than 13 million passengers in 2012, a 4.2 percent increase over 2011.

BWI Marshall is an important economic engine to Maryland that creates and supports almost 94,000 jobs, $3.6 billion in personal income, $5.6 billion in business revenue, and over $2.0 billion in local purchases. Combined, the tax contribution for BWI Marshall is more than $721 million per year. Southwest Airlines, the leading carrier at BWI Marshall Airport, served more than 13 million passengers in 2012, a 4.2 percent increase over 2011.