Airport hubs expected to be hit with several-hour delays
WASHINGTON — Federal transportation officials are warning of several-hour delays starting next week during the busiest times at the country's busiest airports because federal spending cuts forced furloughs for air traffic controllers.
The worst delays, which will ebb and flow with daily traffic, are expected at 13 hubs: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark in the New York area; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in California; O'Hare and Midway in Chicago; Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida; Atlanta; Philadelphia and Charlotte.
To prevent planes from stacking up during busy times at those hubs, the Federal Aviation Administration will ground planes at their originating airports or order them to take circuitous routes, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.
The worst delays could be 210 minutes for flights headed to Atlanta, 132 minutes for flights to O'Hare and 80 minutes to LaGuardia, Huerta said. A whole runway could be taken out of action at Atlanta or O'Hare for lack of staffing, he said.
The worst delays for flights to Los Angeles are projected at 67 minutes and about 50 minutes for flights to JFK and Newark, he said.
“We are not going to sacrifice safety,” said Huerta, who said weather could cause even worse delays. “There are about a dozen airports that will see heavy to moderate delays, which could be similar to what we would experience during a significant summer thunderstorm.”
FAA workers are being furloughed 11 days — one day for each two-week pay period — starting on Sunday until Sept. 30. Because Mondays and Fridays are the heaviest travel days, that's when delays could be worst.
The furloughs represent about $200 million of the $637 million the FAA must cut from its budget this fiscal year. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said officials are cutting contracts and travel, but furloughs are needed to cut enough funding.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alpha to idle two West Virginia coal mines
- Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
- Former GOP nominee Romney will not run for president in ’16
- Medicare payments to tie doctor, hospital payments to quality rather than volume of care
- Pittsburgh travelers feel effects of Northeast blizzard
- Senators approve Keystone pipeline
- Taliban 5 linking with Haqqani, Graham says
- Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think
- National Weather Service to evaluate work after missed call on storm
- Rock pythons creep into Everglades
- Penn State University eyes changes to sexual misconduct case handling