Delays Hit U.S. Airports As Furloughs Kick In, FAA Says

FAA furloughs airport delays
J Pat Carter/AP
By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK -- Travelers waited more than an hour for flights in New York and experienced delays at other U.S. airports on Sunday evening as furloughs of air traffic controllers began, reducing the ability of busy hubs to handle arrivals and departures, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The furloughs that started Sunday reduced staffing by 10 percent across the country. Last week, the FAA warned of delays up to 3½ hours at some airports as the agency cuts spending to meet reductions required under federal budget cuts.

New York's LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports reported delays of more than an hour, and Philadelphia international airport also reported delays due to furloughs, the FAA said.

Los Angeles International reported nearly a 2-hour delay at 10 p.m. ET, and Newark Liberty International reported 28-minute delays, though the FAA couldn't confirm whether those were related to the staff cuts. Delays of up to 58 minutes in San Francisco and 29 minutes in Orlando, Fla., were due to construction and weather, the FAA said.

"Relatively good weather throughout the country and light traffic helped minimize air traffic delays," FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

The delays come as the FAA furloughs its 47,000 employees, including nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers who manage the nation's airspace.

The furloughs are set to last through September, the end of the U.S. fiscal year, and are expected to save about $200 million of the $637 million the agency must cut from its $16 billion budget, the FAA said last week.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the Air Traffic Controllers Association, said about 1,200 to 1,500 controllers will be staying home each day, on average, and that some airports might be able to shift staffing to reduce the effect of the furloughs. U.S. airports handle about 25,000 flights a day, he said.

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Hi Den

There is probably an office full of goverment dolts sitting in a cubical, eating out of a Brady Bunch lunch box that do absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G that we could get rid of and no one would know the difference. I am sure there is an office full of them in every town. Cancel a few of these stupid government studies that mean nothng and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars a year and we could free up a boat load of money there. Stop the California 9th circuit court from spending millions on a Hawiian junk it and now we can afford to hire more air traffic controllers.

April 23 2013 at 1:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Thanks Obama....whats next..Too bad AF 1 isnt grounded also. make Obama walk to Texas.

April 23 2013 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why fly? Take a train or bus or drive yourself. No big deal. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.

April 22 2013 at 11:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

delay at one airport causing delay at another is not fourlough caused---idiot writer

April 22 2013 at 11:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

If everybody's running're not late.

April 22 2013 at 9:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

BS POLITICS AS USUAL. HOW BOUT WE GROUND AIR FORCE 1 and AIR FORCE 2 and helicopter 1 and 2 also and use the money to pay the controllers? so much cxrap, so much incompetence!

April 22 2013 at 8:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hsstempe's comment

Damn right! Ronnie Reagan started The 747's & under him the debt met its record amount. And the congressional subsidized luxury restaurants, on & on. No wonder the policitians lie so much to get into office!

April 22 2013 at 9:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

4 more years, 4 more years. 4 more years.

April 22 2013 at 7:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It might be a smart move to furlough Congress

April 22 2013 at 7:17 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

This is on Obama's head and every Democrat or Republican who supports it. This was a cut in the budgeted INCREASE, not a cut in real dollars. The good news is that this will backfire on Axelrod and the rest of O's minions just like his "apocalypse tour " did.

April 22 2013 at 6:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

If the FAA is a worthwhile program, why aren't taxes raised to support it?

April 22 2013 at 4:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply