Some flight delays nationwide as furloughs kick in - WNCT

Some flight delays nationwide as furloughs kick in

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WASHINGTON -

Some airports are starting to see flight delays and the airlines believe more could be on the way.

There are fewer air traffic controllers on duty because of budget cuts. And travelers nationwide may be spending more time waiting.

Air travelers like Stephanie weaver are keeping a close eye on the airport departure screens.

Runways nationwide could get jammed now that fewer people are working in the towers. Air traffic controllers are losing a day of work every other week.

The FAA says it's a result of the automatic budget cuts congress let take effect in March.

Airports in big cities have seen some delays, but airline experts say there could be more turbulence ahead.

The airlines predict as many as 30 percent of flights could be delayed. The biggest pilots union and other trade groups are suing the FAA to put controllers back on the job full time.

The FAA says scaling back shifts is the only way to slash 637 million dollars from the budget. But some are convinced furloughing the air traffic controllers is a political move.

The airlines are telling customers to call the FAA directly with complaints.

Almost every federal agency is slashing budgets because of the automatic spending cuts that took effect last month.

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