FAA furloughs have little impact at Sky Harbor - New York News

FAA furloughs have little impact at Sky Harbor

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PHOENIX -

This was the first Monday the FAA furloughs were in effect, and some were predicting a major headache for air travelers. Many expected the biggest logjam in the southwest would be at LAX, the busiest airport in the region.

Because planes between Phoenix and LAX leave like buses -- about once an hour -- the potential was high for back-ups. But so far, just a few minor bumps.

October Holder got a phone call about her Phoenix to LAX flight.

"I got a recorded message from Southwest letting me know that my 1 p.m. flight was moved back to 1:40," she said.

Jose and Lucile received a text.

"It said basically our flight had changed now from 1 o'clock to 1:40, our flight was delayed."

The first Monday of the furloughs did not put too much of a wrinkle in people's flight plans at Sky Harbor.

"40 minutes is not that bad, I can deal with that," said October.

Some flights to LAX were delayed a little over an hour Monday morning, but most flights into and out of Sky Harbor from any airport were on time. Passengers we spoke to took the smaller delays in stride.

The FAA says Federal budget cuts known as sequestration have forced it to furlough an air traffic controller one day every two weeks.

To meet these staffing challenges, it says controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage the air traffic with the staff they have. That could cause delays throughout the system.

Statement by Sky Harbor Airport

We have received many inquiries today about possible delayed flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. As of this afternoon, there are some delays into cities throughout the U.S. - some due to weather and according to the Federal Aviation Administration, some due to FAA staffing. For interview requests, information on FAA staffing or causes of flight delays to and from specific cities, please contact the FAA PIO or visit www.fly.faa.gov. As always, we recommend that passengers and those picking up passengers at Sky Harbor check flight status with the airline before coming to the Airport.

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