Not widely grabbing space over the past few days to inform travelers: Federal spending cuts that furlough air traffic controllers --- requiring one day off without pay for every 10 days work --- kicked in over the weekend, that could delay close to 7,000 flights a day at about a dozen of the biggest U.S. airports, notes Grumpy Editor.
Thus, few passengers heading for airports are aware that sequester cuts are now triggering disruptions in air travel.
At Los Angeles International Airport, for example, aircraft arrivals are expected to sink to 48 an hour from 80. Departures also are affected.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s plans are “illegal, irresponsible and damaging,” says Nicholas E. Calio, chief executive of Airlines of America, which represents major U.S. airlines.
Michael Huerta, FAA administrator, says the air traffic controllers furloughs are unavoidable.
“We’re basically dismantling” the world’s safest and most efficient air traffic control system, warns Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Budget cuts could affect weather forecasts
Also not widely mentioned is that sequester action also could affect the National Weather Service.
The Washington Post reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposes furloughing employees for four days across the agency that includes the National Weather Service.
The newspaper notes NOAA would give labor unions the opportunity to offer alternatives to furloughs before finalizing its plan for reducing costs as part of the sequester.
The union that represents National Weather Service employees criticized the furlough plan, saying it is “unnecessary and places the public at greater risk,” adds the Post.
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