With the federal Department of Homeland Security facing a 5 percent budget cut in the budget battle, passengers at Kennedy International Airport might have to schedule extra hours for travel, the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, said on Tuesday.
She added that in the summer, the daily wait times could exceed four hours. Ms. Napolitano was speaking in New York at a counterterrorism conference.
On Monday, Ms. Napolitano told reporters that while passengers at New York’s airports had not yet felt the effects of spending cuts that went into effect on Friday, security lines at airports in other cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago, were already more than twice as long as they had been before.
Ms. Napolitano said on Tuesday that Homeland Security’s partnership with the New York Police Department would be more crucial than ever. “We are just beginning to see impacts of the sequestration that came into effect last Friday,” she said. “The Coast Guard has to curtail maritime operations in the waters off the coast of New York by 24 percent.”
At the same time, Ms. Napolitano added, overtime pay reductions and furloughs of Customs and Border Protection officers will mean that in the approaching summer season, “the wait time at the J.F.K. International Airport will increase by up to 50 percent, and peak daily wait times could exceed four hours.”
“We do not want this,” she said. “We will work hard to fulfill our security missions to the best of our ability.”