FAA furloughs begin, airlines ready for delays

FAA furloughs begin, airlines ready for delays

Posted: Updated:
(FOXNews.com) -

A source tells FOX Business the Federal Aviation Administration will begin sequester-related furloughs on Sunday, a move that has airlines preparing for the worst.

With fewer air-traffic controllers on the job, the FAA reportedly is warning major airlines they could see nearly 7,000 daily flights delayed at more than a dozen major airports, according to a report by Reuters, citing a source close to the matter.

Click here to check flight delays and airport statuses.

The delays could reach up to 210 minutes at some airports, though the average delays will be much shorter, according to the report. The Administration says it will do all it can to mitigate the delays.

The FAA would not comment on the reports, however it did point to statements made by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in February that claimed the FAA would "begin furloughs and start facility shut-downs in April."

At the time, the FAA said it would make plans to cut $600 million for the remainder of the fiscal-year 2013, which includes furloughing a "vast majority" of its 47,000 employees for about one day per pay period as well as closing more than 100 air traffic control centers.

Major carriers United (UAL), Delta (DAL) and American Airlines all diverted their comments to Airlines for America [A4A], a membership group representing 90% of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic.

Despite the pressure on the FAA to cut costs amid the $85 billion sequester, A4A chastised the FAA's decision to furlough controllers.

"The FAA has discretion to implement cuts without furloughing air traffic controllers," the group said. "Unlike Customs, TSA and other agencies, they have not acted to minimize potential impacts."

A4A went on to claim that the FAA has given "no specifics or explanation of methodology" for its decision to furlough controllers, only that the FAA expects a "10% sequestration cut will equal 30-40% capacity reductions at certain points."

Travel groups like the Global Business Travel Association have long expressed concerns that the automatic spending cuts will weigh heavily on the travel industry, stifling business travel and slowing the economic recovery.

"Threatened reductions in air traffic controllers, customs clearance officers, and TSA officials staffing airport checkpoints risk long lines, system slow-downs, and general delays," GBTA COO Mike McCormick said in February. "While the debate about the true impact on agency services rages, even the potential for significant disruptions in air travel is seriously disruptive to businesses."

While there were concerns a major security furlough among the TSA would lead to steep airport delays, TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski told a congressional panel recently that he does not anticipate furloughs for his agency. He also said there have not been longer wait times at check points due to the sequestration.

This comes despite dire warnings last month from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who claimed the spending cuts would lead to sharply longer security lines.  

Read more: www.foxbusiness.com

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:11:55 GMT
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
  • Easter Sunday benefit for Steve Utash and crime victims

    Easter Sunday benefit for Steve Utash and crime victims

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:46:19 GMT
    Since his near death beating by a mob, family, friends and total strangers have rallied around Steven Utash. The latest show of support was on Easter Sunday at Bethany Baptist Church in Detroit.
    Since his near death beating by a mob, family, friends and total strangers have rallied around Steven Utash. The latest show of support was on Easter Sunday at Bethany Baptist Church in Detroit.
  • Wanted suspect arrested for high profile crimes

    Wanted suspect arrested for high profile crimes

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:43:01 GMT
    A wanted suspect connected to serious crimes in Metro Detroit is now in custody. Ray Slayton, 47, was arrested Sunday morning at a hotel in Warren on felony drug charges.
    A wanted suspect connected to serious crimes in Metro Detroit is now in custody. Ray Slayton, 47, was arrested Sunday morning at a hotel in Warren on felony drug charges.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices