Bowing under the weight of massive debt and dwindling passengers, Lehigh Valley International Airport officials acted Tuesday to eliminate a dozen jobs and cut services such as valet parking and the airport parking shuttle.
The $19.6 million 2013 budget will mean minor inconveniences for passengers who will soon have to park their own cars, book their own flights and walk from even the most distant parking areas, but the heaviest burdens are being shouldered by airport workers losing their jobs.
Among the 12 jobs being cut Jan. 1 are seven grounds crew and ticket-counter workers, a construction manager and the airport’s only travel agent.
One day after the president of the United States signed a bill regarding sequestration, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Director Barry Centini scoffed at the notion his airport would be one of the casualties of the potential across-the-board spending cuts.
On Wednesday, Barack Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which requires him to provide details within 30 days on how sequestration – severe budget cuts to most federal agencies – would be implemented if enacted on Jan. 2. The legislation also requires the directors of federal agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, to develop a plan and submit it to Congress, detailing how they would deal with such cuts.
According to Todd Hauptli, the senior executive vice president of the American Association of Airport Executives, the FAA is still developing a plan for how it would cope with the projected $1.35 billion, or nine percent, cut from its annual budget. However, a study done by the American Center for Progress – a liberal think-tank – suggests the administration likely would have to close more than 100 U.S. airports, including the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, to decrease its expenditures and meet the budget reduction.
Despite all of that, Mr. Centini says he isn’t concerned about the airport’s future.
On Jan. 4, Delta plans to upgrade its daily flight to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from a 50-seat aircraft to a 65-seat aircraft, airport Director Barry Centini said Monday at a regularly scheduled airport board meeting during which projects and plans for an authority were discussed. He also said Delta on March 3 will add a fourth flight to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
NBC 10 in Philadelphia is reporting that the Philadelphia International Airport is closing at 10:30 pm this evening and will reopen at 4:00 pm tomorrow, due to Hurricane Irene.
Air travel is improving! Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is projecting a 14% increase in passengers over last Christmas. Last month traffic was up 12% over November 2009 and year-to-date the airport has seen 7.3% increase in passengers.
Full body scans and pat-downs had no impact on air travel over Thanksgiving.
Okay, this is getting ridiculous! A tanker truck overturned at the Philadelphia International Airport and spilled fuel all over the runway in front of Terminal F. All commuter/regional flights have been halted until the spill is cleaned up. The amount of fuel spilled is undetermined at this time.
You just can’t make this stuff up folks!
Tony Hayward has not been spotted near the airport!