FAA: Sequester to Have Major Impact at Largest Airports

By Paul Riegler on 18 April 2013
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A United aircraft landing at JFK earlier this month

A United aircraft landing at JFK earlier this month

The cuts in federal spending resulting from the sequester will result in air traffic controller furloughs starting Sunday that will impact thousands of flights a day, according to officials at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA has prepared a plan under which FAA employees will be required to take off one day per 10 work days without pay.  This will result in capacity reductions that will vary by airport and range from 20% to 40%.  The rate of arriving aircraft at Newark-Liberty will drop from 48 to 38 per hour, a 21% reduction, while Chicago-O’Hare will see a 36% reduction, going from 112 to 72 planes per hour.  Los Angeles International Airport will see a drop to 48 an hour from 80, or a 40% cut.

In total, this will create delays at more than one dozen major airports in the U.S. and impact roughly 7,000 flights per day.  This includes putting daily ground delay programs into place at some of the busiest airports in the country, including three in the New York metropolitan area (John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia, and Newark Liberty) and O’Hare and LAX.

In addition, six other airports, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami and San Francisco, will require traffic management programs to slow air traffic so that the controllers who remain on duty won’t get overwhelmed.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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