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Sequester’s impact on airport uncertain

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OGDENSBURG — The proposed federal sequester’s impact on the Ogdensburg International Airport is uncertain.

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 Wednesday. “We have not been informed yet what the impacts will be.”

As for the status of DOT’s Essential Air Service subsidy, that is unclear. Cape Air of Barnstable, Mass., is midway through a four-year, $1,702,607-a-year agreement 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,” she said.

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

DOT, meanwhile, still is checking to make sure the EAS program is safe.

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

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

“The Transportation Security Administration would reduce its frontline workforce, which would substantially increase passenger wait times at airport security checkpoints.”

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