The operator of LAX is “very concerned” about the impact the air traffic controller furloughs will have on flight delays, a Los Angeles World Airports spokeswoman said Monday.
As part of $600 million the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to cut as part of the sequestration -- the deep budget cuts Congress agreed to when it failed to reach a broader budget agreement -- air traffic controllers are taking one unpaid day off each pay period.
“The furloughs, implemented in response to budget cuts mandated by sequestration, could cause significant delays and inconvenience for passengers that use LAX, as well as the broader community that we're dedicated to serve,” said Los Angeles World Airports spokeswoman Nancy Castles.
Some flights headed into LAX were delayed more than three hours Sunday night because of air traffic controller furloughs required by sequestration cuts, a federal aviation official said Monday.
Groups have sued to stop the furloughs, but that has not prevented them from taking effect.
"FAA employee furloughs, including air traffic controller furloughs, began Sunday,” an agency official said. “The FAA will be working with the airlines and using a comprehensive set of air traffic management tools to minimize the delay impacts of lower staffing as we move into the busy summer travel season.”
The FAA’s website showed flights Sunday night into LAX delayed as much as three hours.
The airport is operating under its “irregular operations” plan and is monitoring delays and cancellations so it can help passengers, Castles said.
The airport is averaging 68 arrivals and departures per hour, which is about average, she said.
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