| NEW YORK, April 21
NEW YORK, April 21 Travelers waited more than an
hour for flights in New York and experienced delays at other
U.S. airports on Sunday evening as furloughs of air traffic
controllers began, reducing the ability of busy hubs to handle
arrivals and departures, the Federal Aviation Administration
The furloughs that started Sunday reduced staffing by 10
percent across the country. Last week the FAA warned of delays
up to 3-1/2 hours at some airports as the agency cuts spending
to meet reductions required under federal budget cuts.
New York's LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports reported
delays of more than an hour, and Philadelphia international
airport also reported delays due to furloughs, the FAA said.
Los Angeles International reported nearly a two-hour delay
at 10 pm ET, and Newark Liberty International reported 28-minute
delays, though the FAA could not confirm whether those were
related to the staff cuts. Delays of up to 58 minutes in San
Francisco and 29 minutes in Orlando, Florida, were due to
construction and weather, the FAA said.
"Relatively good weather throughout the country and light
traffic helped minimize air traffic delays," FAA spokeswoman
Laura Brown said.
The delays come as the FAA furloughs its 47,000 employees,
including nearly 13,000 air traffic controllers who manage the
The furloughs are set to last through September, the end of
the U.S. fiscal year, and are expected to save about $200
million of the $637 million the agency must cut from its $16
billion budget, the FAA said last week.
Paul Rinaldi, president of the Air Traffic Controllers
Association, said about 1,200 to 1,500 controllers will be
staying home each day, on average, and that some airports might
be able to shift staffing to reduce the effect of the furloughs.
U.S. airports handle about 25,000 flights a day, he said.
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Stacey Joyce)