Flight Delays Reported at LAX - NBC Southern California

Flight Delays Reported at LAX



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    Delays were reported Tuesday morning at Los Angeles International Airport as federal budget cuts force furloughs of air traffic controllers.

    As of 4 a.m., nearly 80 percent of flights departing LAX were delayed, as were nearly 20 percent of arrivals, according to the website flightview.com.

    By 6 p.m. Monday, about 25 percent of departures and arrivals at LAX were running late while at Orange County's John Wayne Airport almost all flights were taking off on time and a little more than 20 percent of the flights coming in were delayed, according to flightview.com.

    Delays have taken hold at airports in Southern California and around the nation as a result of the furloughing of air traffic controllers under federal sequestration budget cuts.

    The average delay Sunday night was three hours in the Southern California Terminal Radius Approach Control (TRACON), according to Doug Church, the director of communications for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union representing the controllers.

    "They basically cut their arrival rate in half," Church said. "That's no way to run the air traffic control system."

    The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring all workers to take one unpaid day off of every 10-day period through Sept. 30, and that goes beyond control towers in airports, Church said.

    The TRACON in Miramar controls aircraft after takeoff and on approach throughout Southern California, and there's a regional control center in Palmdale that controls aircraft at high altitudes. The furloughs at those facilities affect flights throughout the system.

    "Like a water spigot, their effects are felt," Church said. 
    According to the FAA, the agency "is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country" due to the furloughs mandated by budget cuts.

    "Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather-related issues," according to the FAA.

    The FAA reports that it is working with the airlines throughout the day to try to minimize delays for travelers, who are urged to check their flight status and also visit fly.faa.gov for the latest airport delay information.

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