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Sequester’s impact on airport uncertain

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The impending federal sequester’s impact on Ogdensburg International Airport is uncertain, officials said Wednesday, but it will be felt eventually if $85 billion in federal budget-adjusting cuts start going into effect beginning Friday.

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Executive Wade A. Davis is waiting to hear from the U.S. Department of Transportation just how extensive it will be.

“There will be impacts,” he said. “We have not been informed yet what the impacts will be.”

Cape Air of Massachusetts is midway through a four-year, $1,702,607 annual agreement subsisized through the EAS program to provide air service to Ogdensburg.

Cape Air officials view the EAS subsidy as sequester-proof.

“I do not believe that we have to have any fears about losing EAS subsidy,” said Jacqueline B. Donohoo, the airline’s Northeast marketing manager. “The EAS program is protected in cuts such as sequestration, to my knowledge.”

“Not much to add to what Jacqueline said,” said Andrew Bonney, Cape Air’s vice president of planning. “She is exactly right. The current Ogdensburg contract runs through March 2015.”

DOT, meanwhile, is still researching the extent of the sequester’s effects.

“We are still looking at the potential impacts of sequestration on Essential Air Service,” said DOT spokesman William Mosley.

As for airport security, a White House state-by-state summary of the cuts has includes the following directive:

“The Transportation Security Administration would reduce its frontline workforce, which would substantially increase passenger wait times at airport security checkpoints. TSA would need to initiate a hiring freeze for all transportation security officer positions in March, eliminate overtime and furlough its 50,000 officers for up to seven days.”

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