Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bush Ready to Cut Another Agency, This Time the FAA

The Bush Administration has proposed cutting next year's FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) budget for equipment and facilities by 12.6 percent, from $2.862 billion to $2.5 billion. Both the House and the Senate have gone along with that figure so far in the budget process.

The FAA has been begging for updates on their air traffic control systems for years. Just this past week Los Angeles International Airport had a shutdown of its radio system and didn't have communication with pilots.

The FAA is an important agency with the authority of our air space and airlines. These are the guys who keep our planes from hitting each other or landing on the same runway at the same time.

Remember, of all the government agencies that responded as the hijackings took place on 9/11, the FAA had the most stressful and immediate actions to take. And possibilities of future terrorism involving our air transportation system alone is a reason to not cut the FAA budget but to increase it.

As I pointed out in an earlier post (Homeland Insecurity) our air cargo is not checked. At this point we have better inspection of passengers and carry-on luggage, but once the passengers are seated the cargo hold below them could be holding ticking bombs. If something should happen to any future flight(s) it will be the FAA that will be at the forefront to coordinate a response.

This is just another case of trying to pay as little as possible for something that really doesn't have a price, American lives.

Budget cut story...


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