| USWorld

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Senate moves to halt air traffic controller furloughs

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, April 25, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

WASHINGTON — With flight delays mounting, the Senate approved hurry-up legislation on Thursday night to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers.

A House vote on the measure is expected as early as Friday, with lawmakers eager to embark on a weeklong vacation.

Under the legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

In addition to restoring full staffing to controllers, Senate officials said the available funds should be ample enough to prevent the closure of small airport towers around the country. The FAA has said it will shut the facilities as it makes its share of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts — known as the sequester — that took effect last month at numerous government agencies.

The Senate acted as the FAA said there had been at least 863 flights delayed on Wednesday “attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough.”

Administration officials participated in the negotiations that led to the deal and evidently registered no objections.

After the vote, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “It will be good news for America's traveling public if Congress spares them these unnecessary delays. But ultimately, this is no more than a temporary Band-Aid that fails to address the overarching threat to our economy posed by the sequester's mindless, across-the-board cuts.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a key participant in the talks, said the legislation would “prevent what otherwise would have been intolerable delays in the air travel system, inconveniencing travelers and hurting the economy.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Pot doctors in medical marijuana states push boundaries with marketing
  2. Federal $1.1 trillion spending bill loaded with policy deals
  3. Artists plan to rebuild Alaska art display damaged by tides
  4. Disability claim waits grow alongside swelling caseloads for judges
  5. Suspect in Colorado attack called loner who left few clues
  6. Nuclear crossroad: California reactors face uncertain future
  7. Kids making oral history with StoryCorps holiday project
  8. Chicago retail district targeted by protesters
  9. Chicago police videos of black teen McDonald’s death lack sounds; protests planned for ‘Black Friday’
  10. Prescription skin drug costs skyrocket
  11. Hawaii confronts dengue fever cases