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Pack Your Patience If Sequester Takes Flight Next Month

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – You could call it sequestration frustration.

If the across the board spending cuts take effect March 1st, the Obama administration warns you may want to pack your patience along with your bags the next time you fly.

Kevan Shaheen travels every week for business.  “It just will keep me in the airports more at longer time periods more often. I don’t like it.”

The TSA also warns getting through the security checkpoints could take longer, since screeners would be furloughed.

Then once you’ve gotten through security, you could be waiting longer before take-off.

Air traffic controllers would also be furloughed, and as a result the FAA says departures could be delayed by as much as 90 minutes.

And it’s not just big airports.

Barry Hosford is general manager at Aviator Air at Grand Prairie’s municipal airport.  Its air traffic control tower could close if the spending cuts take effect.

Hosford says there could be confusion because helicopters usually use the west side and planes use the east side.  “That’s the main reason the control tower is important here.  It keeps the rotor craft sway from the fixed-wing aircraft, but still it’d be a situation the pilots adapt to.”

Aside from the Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, Arlington Municipal, Dallas Executive, Fort Worth Spinks, and Collin County Regional in McKinney could all see their air traffic control towers closed if the spending cuts take effect.

The overnight operations at the Fort Worth Meacham air traffic control tower could also be shut down.

Travelers like Kevin Reid say lawmakers just need to compromise. “It’s the people who suffer for it and if the people don’t want to clean house and get officials in who will make tough decisions, the we’ll all have to stand still and have to live with it.”

Kevan Shaheen agrees, saying leaders in Washington need to  “Get off the dime and fix it.”

The FAA says its cuts wouldn’t start immediately, but would take effect around April 1.

Potential delays are not only concerning travelers, but airport managers too.

On Monday, DFW and Love Field officials are meeting with both Customs and TSA officials about what could happen if spending cuts go through.

The bottom line, you could face longer lines at security checkpoints both in North Texas and beyond.

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