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www.wmfd.com - If you're heading to the airport this week, you might want to leave a little earlier, as thousands of air traffic controllers are now being forced to take furlough days. }}" />

   
 
 
Airport FAA Furloughs Are Underway

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 4/22/2013

  If you're heading to the airport this week, you might want to leave a little earlier.

  Thousands of air traffic controllers are now being forced to take furlough days.

  And that's expected to cause major delays for travelers.

  Tony Thomas reports from Atlanta.

  The FAA is warning, with the furloughs that went into effect, delays could range from just a few minutes on lighter days like Monday at Harstfield, to up t three-and-a-half hours during peak times.

  Up in Hartsfield Jackson's air traffic control tower, workers are being told to stay home one day for every two weeks.

  "All gates all flights. Come on down ya'll," says one airline worker.

  It's the same all across the country, due to federal budget cuts or sequestration.

  For frequent fliers, that's not good news al all.

  "You just sort of cringe, but what d you do? If you want to travel, that's just the price you pay for it," offered passenger Suzanne Ryan.

  The FAA says safety won't be an issue, it's administrator telling lawmakers, "we will only allow the amount of air traffic that we can handle safely to take off and land. This means travelers should expect delays," says FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

  Victor Santore is vice president of the Air Traffic Controllers Union in Atlanta.

  "It's like equating a tollbooth on the highway. If you have 10 tollbooths and you only open eight of them, traffic is going to back up. We are all going to pay the price. What can you do? You grin and bear it," says Santore.

  A lawsuit from the pilots union and the airline industry has been filed against the Federal Aviation Administration.

  It's not expected to head to court for at least another week.

  The FAA didn't comment on the matter.

   
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