NATCA & FAA Statements - Furlough Update

- Washington DC, USA

Statement NATCA: After just two days of furloughs for air traffic controllers, more than 10,000 flights have been delayed and more than 600 canceled. This is just the beginning of what promises to be a huge economic disruption if the furloughs are not stopped. As bad as delays have been, they could be even worse if the FAA were not taking extraordinary steps to cover for the controllers forced off the job.

The FAA has been forced to cancel all training, halt work on critical modernization and NextGen projects, and are even using overtime at some of the busiest facilities. This last decision is particularly concerning because the use of overtime pay is actually costing the FAA money, eliminating any savings that are supposedly being achieved for sequestration. It’s simple math - furloughing controllers earning base while paying others base pay plus an additional 50 percent will not result in savings.

This is no way to run the world’s safest, most efficient national airspace system. Controllers continue to do their best every day to keep the system running. It’s time policymakers show the same amount of effort and dedication. A bipartisan solution to stop these furloughs must be reached and soon, in order to keep controllers on the job full time and America’s national airspace operating at full capacity.

FAA Statement:

FAA Statement
Date: April 23, 2013

Contact: Laura J. Brown

Phone: (202) 267-3883

As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues. For example, the FAA is experiencing staffing challenges at the New York and Los Angeles En Route Centers and at the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Las Vegas TRACONs. Controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including DFW, Las Vegas and LAX. The FAA also expects delays at Newark and LaGuardia because of weather and winds.

The FAA will continue to work with the airlines throughout the day to try and minimize delays for travelers. We encourage all travelers to check their flight status and also to visit fly.faa.gov for the latest airport delay information.

Yesterday more than 1,200 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough. There were more than 1,400 additional delays as a result of weather and other factors.

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