Airlines, pilots sue government to stop furloughs

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm •  Published: April 19, 2013
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FAA officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The controller furloughs will save the agency $200 million, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said earlier this week. But fewer controllers will mean planes have to take off and land less frequently so as not to overload controllers on duty, he said.

An FAA analysis released Thursday said fewer controllers will mean major delays at some of the nation's busiest airports, although the delays will vary significantly depending upon the time of day and other factors unique to each airport.

Maximum delays of more than three hours were predicted for some flights to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world's busiest airport as measured by the number of passengers who pass through it. But many flights arriving at the airport would suffer no delays or only brief delays, according to the FAA analysis.

Other airports predicted to experience significant delays as a result of the furloughs include Newark Liberty in New Jersey, John F. Kennedy and La Guardia in New York, O'Hare in Chicago, Los Angles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, San Diego and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood in Florida. Airports in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami and Charlotte, N.C., as well as Chicago's Midway International Airport, are forecast to experience lesser delays.

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Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy

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