Business and Economics

O’Hare Flight Delays, FAA Budget Adjustment

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The Federal Aviation Administration says federal budget restrictions related to sequestration, or budget cuts imposed based on calendar intervals, are causing “staffing challenges” at “the Chicago … airports.”
The agency says it is implementing “traffic management initiatives” that include spacing planes further apart, causing delays at the country’s major airports, including Chicago O’Hare.
Friday, Congress passed a bill to adjust budgets within the FAA to move money to air traffic controller staffing, though President Barack Obama called the move a “bandaid” toward addressing challenges within the FAA, and the federal government generally, related to sequestration.

The following statement from the FAA Thursday, April 25, 2013 could have been part of Congressional reconsideration of the FAA budget:

As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues. For example, the FAA is experiencing staffing challenges at the Cleveland, Washington and New York En Route Centers, the Chicago, San Antonio, Southern California and Tampa TRACONs, and Newark, LaGuardia and JFK and Regional South West Florida Airports. Controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Regional South West, and Tampa. The FAA also expects delays at a number of other airports because of weather and winds.

The FAA will continue to work with the airlines throughout the day to try and minimize delays for travelers. We encourage all travelers to check their flight status and also to visit for the latest airport delay information.

Yesterday more than 863 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough at the New York, Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Los Angeles En Route Centers, the Potomac, Dallas and Southern California TRACONs and Detroit Tower. There were more than 2,132 additional delays as a result of weather and other factors.


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