Lehigh Valley

Forced cuts may ground airplanes, lengthen security lines

Forced cuts may ground airplanes, lengthen security lines

HANOVER TWP., Pa. - Can the sequester be stopped? Lawmakers are running out of time.

Lehigh Valley International Airport near Allentown is one of the many places that could be affected if across-the-board budget cuts take effect on Friday. 

Some planes might be grounded or relocated, and while the tower is not on the list of possible closures, the airport could eliminate the midnight shift if cuts are made. That shift is needed to help cargo planes that bring deliveries for area businesses.

There's a list of cuts at airports across the nation. Officials warn 238 airports could close air traffic control towers if the sequestration goes into effect.

"We have been notified that the midnight shift may be eliminated," said Charles Everett Jr., executive director of Lehigh Valley International Airport.

If that shift is cut, Everett said that could spell trouble for freight shipped into airport.

"The may have to be rescheduled, but certainly the airport will remain open," added Everett.

Another change you will notice is the more time it will take to get through security at the airport because Transportation Security Administration workers may be furloughed one day a week as part of the budget cuts.

As for avoiding the sequester, political experts said leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties continue to play the blame game instead of talk about compromise.

"The president has been traveling all over the country and today going down to Newport News," said House Speaker John Boehner.

"There are too many Republicans in Congress right now who refuse to compromise even an inch when it comes to closing tax loopholes and special interest tax breaks," said President Obama.

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