US Austerity Measures Closes 149 Air Traffic Control Towers , 2300 Jobs Cut Planned by Boeing


US Closes Down 149 Air Traffic Control TowersJNN 27 Mar 2013 CHICAGO – The Signs of Bickering Capitalistic US Economy’s are visible now , as per the US Govt Austerity measures , 149 Air Traffic Control Towers will be Closed , Making those Airports Risky , While the Boeing Company has Planned to cut down about 2300 Jobs , In the scenario of few fresh orders , and Grounding of 787 Dream liner .

Under orders to trim hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday released a final list of 149 air traffic control towers that it will close at small airports around the country starting early next month.

The closures will not force any of those airports to shut down, but pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. Those procedures are familiar to all pilots.

Since a preliminary list of facilities was released a month ago, the FAA plan has raised wide-ranging concerns, including worries about the effect on safety and the potential financial consequences for communities that rely on airports to help attract businesses and tourists.

“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.

Airlines have yet to say whether they will continue offering service to airports that lose tower staff. The trade group Airlines for America said its member carriers have no plans to cancel or suspend flights as a result of the closures.

The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The agency said it had no choice but to subject most of its 47,000 employees, including tower controllers, to periodic furloughs and to close air traffic facilities at small airports with lighter traffic. The changes are part of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which went into effect March 1.

The airports targeted for tower shutdowns have fewer than 150,000 total flight operations per year. Of those, fewer than 10,000 are commercial flights by passenger airlines.

Airport directors, pilots and others in the aviation sector have argued that stripping away an extra layer of safety during the most critical stages of flight will elevate risks and at the very least slow years of progress that made the U.S. aviation network the safest in the world.

One of the facilities on the closure list is at Ogden-Hinckley Airport in Utah, where air traffic controllers keep planes safely separated from the F-16s screaming in and out of nearby Hill Air Force Base and flights using Salt Lake City International Airport.

The Boeing Company says it will cut up to 2,300 jobs by the end of 2013 in line with plans to mainly downsize the production line of its cutting-edge 787 Dreamliner jets.

According to a statement released by the Chicago-based company on Friday, the cuts will also target the production line of Boeing’s 747 aircraft.

The 787 Dreamliners have been grounded since mid-January due to a battery problem.

A Boeing representative said that out of those job cuts, about 800 workers will be laid off in the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, with the rest of the cutbacks coming through attrition and redeployment.

The job cuts are aimed at improving corporate governance during a development phase of new airplanes, the company stated.

Analysts say it is too early to estimate the financial effect of the job cuts particularly in light of the 787 Dreamliner grounding, with worldwide orders for the jetliner pushing the company revenue to over $80 billion.

Earlier in March, a report issued by the US Department of Labor showed that the unemployment rate was increasing in half of the US states, with employers adding the fewest jobs in seven months.

The nationwide unemployment rate increased in January to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in December 2012, with the rate of job increases remaining far below what economists recommend to maintain healthy employment rates.

The US economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, casting doubt on the strength of economic recovery in the country.

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