Air traffic controller union running ads on sequester

"Our economy relies on a growing, vibrant, efficient aviation system," NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said in one of the ads.

"Unless Congress acts now, mandatory budget cuts totaling over a half a billion over the next several months will drastically hurt the nation's aviation system," Rinaldi continued. "That means delays, reduced air services and negative impact on our nation's economy."

NATCA Vice President Trish Gilbert made a similar point in another version of the union's advertisement.

"If you fly, you don't want to hear about reduced air traffic control services and longer delays, and nobody wants our economy to suffer," Gilbert said. "But that's what we're facing unless Congress acts now to stop the slashing of a half a billion from the aviation operations budget."

Republicans in Congress have cast doubt on the Obama administration's warnings about the sequester causing air travel delays, arguing that the FAA can make cuts to other places in its budget without furloughing air traffic controllers.

Gilbert said in her version of the NATCA radio ad that sequestration was "no way to run the world's most efficient and complex air space system and no way to keep our economy growing."

The FAA will have to cut $600 million from its 2013 budget if sequestration is implemented at midnight on Friday, as is widely expected because Congress has adjourned for the week.

House and Senate leaders met Friday at the White House with President Obama, but they emerged from the meeting without a deal. 

Listen to the NATCA ads here and here.