An aerospace and aviation group that's been campaigning hard to get Congress and the Obama administration to act to prevent forthcoming automatic budget cuts is now warning about the impact on civil aviation.
Aerospace Industries Association, which largely represents the defende industry, has been sounding the alarms for months now that budget sequestration -- automatic cuts due to take effect early in 2013 -- would result in tens of thousands of lost defense jobs.
The group released yet another of its "studies" Monday (all can be found here) predicting massive disruptions to the commercial aviation industries as well.
A study released today by the Aerospace Industries Association and Econsult Corporation estimates that budget cuts to Federal Aviation Administration operations as a result of sequestration could cost up to 132,000 aviation jobs, sap $80 billion a year from the nation’s gross domestic product and strip almost two billion pounds of freight capacity out of an air cargo system that is already buckling at the seams.
According to the study, annual economic losses could amount to $80 billion annually by 2035, an annual decrease of 37 to 73 million in passenger enplanements and annual reductions of 1 to 2 billion pounds of transported air freight. The forecasted loss in output to the U.S. economy is estimated to reach $9.2 to $18.4 billion, with $2.7 to $5.4 billion lost in wages and salaries.
“If sequestration is not stopped, it will be by far the most devastating budget cut to the FAA in its 54 years,” said former Secretary of Transportation and Congressman Norman Mineta. “The FAA is a critical safety organization that regulates our national air transportation system. Putting it at risk is folly beyond comparison.” Mineta is currently vice chair of public policies at Hill + Knowlton Strategies.