Federal Aviation Administration tries to meet budget cuts
Passengers have been warned to expect flight delays of up to three-and-a half hours at the USA’s busier airports this summer. As the Federal Aviation Administration tries to meet budget cuts demanded under the sequestration process, in which the size of the federal budget is automatically limited, it says it will have to force 10% of the country’s air-traffic controllers – around 47,000 of them – on leave of absence.
Such a reduction in the size of the agency’s staff may result in long delays and smaller capacity to handle planes, which could force airlines to cut flights. Delays could be seen as early as this week.
However, the US airline industry lobby group Airlines for America is taking legal action in an attempt to stop the FAA from implementing the furloughing of staff.
New York’s John F Kennedy airport could see delays of up to 50 minutes, Atlanta up to 210 minutes and Chicago O’Hare up to 132 minutes, with delays also likely at Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Miami and Chicago Midway.
[photo: Fairmont Chicago from Navy Pier]