Updated: Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 8:26 PM EST
Published : Friday, 01 Mar 2013, 8:26 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Automatic spending cuts are going into effect and some small airports are on the chopping block. Members of Congress were in New Haven on Friday laying out exactly how the sequester will affect our state.
New Haven's Tweed Airport is the antithesis of New York's J-F-K or Boston's Logan. It's calm, quiet, controlled, with a handful of commercial flights coming in and going out.
"Tim, this airport has been a tough sell for many years, in regards to Westchester or Bradley, now as we look at budget cuts, in light of what you said, why is Tweed worth saving when we look at larger airports that are only 40-45 minutes away," asked News 8's Jamie Muro.
"Well, I'm glad you asked that because we're in a growth mode, frankly, we have been for several years," said Tim Larson, Exec. Dir. of Tweed.
Sequestration could cut the FAA budget by approximately 600-million, which means the potential closing of 100 air traffic control facilities. Among the air-traffic towers that could close here include:
Tweed-New Haven Airport
Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport
Danbury Municipal Airport
Groton-New London Airport
US Airways service at Tweed is the sole commercial carrier flying out of any of the facilities mentioned above. Democrats say the impact to New Haven could be devastating, particularly jobs, at Tweed, and the subsequent ripple effect on other communities.
"Let's be clear and I'm not saying this is going to happen, these are our neighbors, these are faces, we've been talking about numbers, these are faces and the way you build jobs is one at a time, it's a slow laborious process. This doesn't make sense," said Mayor John DeStefano.
Saving Connecticut's defense industry and the jobs with it was also a talking point during Friday's news conference. Tweed may be calm, but the firestorm about it's future, clearly is not.
"We're proud of what we do, we're a great little airport, and we're going to get bigger," said Larson.