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Dorian and Merrill Manza were at Sea-Tac Airport on Saturday, on their way to El Paso for an adoption. They want to be there for the birth of their new baby.

Timing is everything. We can't be late, said Merrill.

In the airport, they were among the many watching the clock closely. But it could be tough times ahead for air travelers, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

On Friday he told reporters that if federal spending cuts kick in next week, $600 million would be sliced from the Federal Aviation Administration's budget.

LaHood said that would mean furloughs for the FAA's 47,000 employees, and less employees working equals a longer wait. He said it could be up to 90 minute delays at airports in major cities, like New York and San Francisco.

The budget cuts would be felt at small airports too through control tower closures. According to LaHood, the transportation department plans to close air-traffic control towers at 100 airports.

The FAA released a list of air traffic control facilities in Washington state that could close with budget sequestration, which is due to take effect March 1.

The following facilities in Washington State are on the list:

  • Walla Walla Regional Walla Walla
  • Grant County International Moses Lake
  • Olympia Regional Olympia
  • Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) Everett
  • Renton Municipal Renton
  • Felts Field Spokane
  • Tacoma Narrows Tacoma
  • Yakima Air Terminal/McAllister Field Yakima


The overnight shifts in the following control towers could be eliminated

  • Boeing Tower, Seattle
  • Spokane Tower, Spokane


The furloughs and facility shut-downs would begin in April.

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