Some federal sequestration cuts - to the tune of 85 billion dollars nationally can be felt around the nation, and in our area as well. One place hit hard - Kingsley Field, in Klamath Falls.
Colonel Jeremy Baenen says that daily training flights have already been reduced by about 18%...
"Which to us is going to mean that our production of student pilots, which is one of our main federal missions, is going to be reduced, and / or delayed."
Colonel Baenen adds that about a third of Kingsley's 900 workers will also be taking some weekly cuts in hours...
"We could expect possibly a one day, during the work week, in which they would be under furlough."
Colonel Baenen notes the public is likely to miss some ceremonial fly-by's due to sequestration...
"Cancellation of all fly-by's, that includes funeral support, air shows of course."
In addition, the airport tower is currently scheduled for closure October first.
Baenen states: "So after One October, we'll be looking to determine how best to contract out the maintenance and upkeep of that tower while we continue to operate with our military personnel."
Colonel Baenen notes that the cuts could result in tighter training...
"I think though that with our professional airmen, this is a good opportunity to look at how best to make more efficient operations here at Kingsley Field."
Military flights account for about 45% of all air traffic at Kingsley field.
At this time, the cutbacks are expected to have little or no impact on commercial and general aviation at Kingsley.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.