The sequester: FAA furloughs hit Fort Dodge

Some Federal Aviation Administration employees based in Fort Dodge may have to take several days off without pay as a result of the budget cuts called sequestration, officials said Wednesday.

Elizabeth Cory, a spokeswoman for the FAA, confirmed that the workers are among those in Iowa who may have to take 11 days off without pay. She said she did not know how many employees the agency has in Fort Dodge.

The employees are airspace system technicians, according to Rhonda Chambers, the director of aviation at Fort Dodge Regional Airport. She said they maintain navigational aids that help pilots. Although they are based in Fort Dodge, they cover a much larger region.

The technicians work from a building near the water tower on the airport grounds. That building was once an FAA flight service station.

Chambers said she has not received any information from the FAA on how the furloughs would affect the local airport.

The employee furloughs are set to begin in the spring and summer.

Cory said almost all of the roughly 47,000 FAA employees will have to take some time off without pay because of the sequestration.

Elsewhere in Iowa, FAA employees in Ankeny, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City and Sioux City also face furloughs.