- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Officials with airports cited by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as examples of how the sequester would delay airline travelers say she’s wrong — they’re not delaying flights one bit.

“We haven’t had any slowdowns at all,” said Marshall Lowe, a spokesman for Los Angeles International Airport, one of the airports named by Ms. Napolitano, The Telegraph reported. Mr. Lowe added that he had been on duty all weekend — and even then, there were no reports of the security delays Ms. Napolitano warned was occurring as a result of mandated budget cuts.

Ms. Napolitano also cited Chicago’s O’Hare and Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson airports as suffering from security checkpoint lines that were “150 to 200 percent as long as we would normally expect” at a recent meeting to discuss sequester fallout. Specifically, she said: “We’re already seeing the effects at some of the ports of entry, the big airports, for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend,” The Telegraph reported.

The Telegraph reported Tuesday, however, that officials with these very same airports denied any longer lines or airline delays.

DeAllous Smith, a spokesman for Hartfield-Jackson, said in The Telegraph report: “There have been no abnormally long lines at the security checkpoint, nor unusual aircraft delays at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as a result of sequestration.”

And Karen Pride, Chicago Department of Aviation media relations director, said O’Hare operations were “normal, [with] no unusual delays or cancellations,” The Telegraph reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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