No deal? Expect longer waits at the airport

Published On: Dec 31 2012 04:17:51 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 31 2012 07:34:50 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

A trip through security at the La Crosse Airport usually takes no more than a few minutes. However, most of the airport's passengers will be connecting through a larger airport on their travels. And going over the fiscal cliff may mean they'll be facing longer waits.

"It could be a severe impact on the traveling public. Instead of one hour, you may be there two or three hours," said Mark Rosenker, CBS's aviation consultant

Paige Peterson and her family traveled from New Jersey to visit family in Iowa this holiday. She's concerned to hear that the fiscal cliff could impact operations at airports across the country.

"If you're already running late and you still have to wait in long lines to get through security anyway, then it makes it a lot more difficult to get to your plane on time," said Peterson.

A report put together by a ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee estimates just how much the fiscal cliff will impact airports. The report predicts the TSA will lose more than 7,200 security officers and the FAA will lose 2,000 air traffic controllers.

"If you're trying to make some connections and there was less security, it would be a little tough," said Dorothy Borge, a traveler from Montana.

Borge and her husband are worried about the long-term impact possible cuts will have om small airports.

"I'm not an expert on airports but I think that the political power resides with the large metropolitan (airports), not with smaller or rural areas," said Michael Borge.