Monday, September 01, 2014

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Local Flight Delays Take Off As Airport Furloughs Come To An End

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TWC News: Local Flight Delays Take Off As Airport Furloughs Come To An End
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People heading to and from area airports on Sunday were relieved they did not have serious delays to contend with, after the Federal Aviation Administration suspended furloughs for air traffic controllers. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

As travelers arrived at LaGuardia Airport Sunday they were greeted by a welcome sight -- a board that said nearly every flight was on time.

"It's nice to know that we won't be delayed and we'll get home on time," a traveler said.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced it is canceling furloughs for air traffic controllers. Last week, furloughs led to thousands of flight delays nationwide.

They were a result of across-the-board federal spending cuts known as the sequester, but by Sunday FAA officials said staffing is back to normal.

"For anybody who travels by air and with any frequency, there's nothing more annoying than being delayed at the airport," said one person at the airport.

"I think to furlough air traffic controllers is a little bit dangerous for a flying institution and plus it just makes everything on time," said another.

"I'm happy about it if it's actually implemented but we'll see if it's going to go through and trickle down to the customers," said a third.

It was particularly good news for flight attendant Paula Daniel and her young son. They sat on the tarmac in Atlanta late last week and were told it was because of these so-called sequester cuts.

"One hour, five minutes and you can get kind of kind of annoyed when you're just sitting there," said Daniel's son.

"It's time to get the schedule back to where it should be and get the people back to work," Daniel said.

Congress passed legislation allowing the FAA to withdraw the furloughs, but some travelers wished they never were allowed to happen in the first place.

"I think it's really deplorable that Congress doesn't seem to care how the sequester is going, but when it effects them, which it obviously does in this situation, then they're all on board, 'Oh, let's fix this,'" a traveler said.

Republican say the Obama administration allowed the furloughs to increase pressure to change all of the so-called sequester cuts. The White House said the air traffic controller deal only fixes a small part of the problems caused by the $85 billion in cuts.

But while that debate continues, fliers are at least happy they will not be dealing with these type of delays anymore.

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