FAA furloughs would affect relatively few at Mike Monroney center

Spokesman for Sen. Jim Inhofe says lawmakers working to resolve funding issue to avoid furloughs.
BY CHRIS CASTEEL ccasteel@opubco.com Published: July 21, 2011

The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City would be mostly unaffected by furloughs this weekend if Congress doesn't resolve a standoff over a portion of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, a Senate spokesman said Wednesday.

Jared Young, a spokesman for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said, “According to information we've received from the FAA, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center will be relatively unaffected by a potential furlough, with approximately 125 employees that could be directly impacted.

“However, the Senate is moving forward with an extension of funding, and we do not believe a furlough will take place.”

The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center has about 7,000 workers, with approximately 5,000 of them direct federal employees.

Wednesday, a Republican-sponsored bill to extend FAA operating authority through Sept. 16 was approved.

However, Senate Democrats said the House bill is unacceptable because Republicans added a provision eliminating about $8.5 million in subsidies for airline service to 13 rural communities in 10 states.