Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Federal aviation officials and air-traffic controllers warned Wednesday that flights through big-city hub airports could suffer major delays under automatic government spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.
But Republicans remain skeptical about the hardship and urged Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta to find ways around furloughing controllers — whose absence from the job would cause the delays.
Huerta said that flights through busy hubs such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco could suffer 90-minute delays because of furloughs anticipated for 10% of controllers. Those delays are expected to ripple across the rest of the country.
The full effect of the cuts is expected in April because controllers must be given 30 days notice about staffing changes.
Huerta told an American Bar Association conference that the 100 air-traffic control towers that will close and 60 that will lose midnight shifts will be chosen based on affecting the fewest people. (Full Story)
The Whitehouse Reports: OMB Sequestration Reports to the President and Congress
When will they learn to work together?