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Hundreds of flight delays connected to sequester

Automatic budget cuts linked to the sequester have reduced manpower in the control tower at various airports across the country and it’s causing hundreds of delays.
(ABC) -- Automatic budget cuts linked to the sequester have reduced manpower in the control tower at various airports across the country and it’s causing hundreds of delays.

Delays piled up in Charlotte, waits of up to 75 minutes in Baltimore, Washington and all three New York airports.

“Having cuts like this, it’s not good and jobs like this I think it’s one of the few that shouldn’t have one,” said one traveler.

The FAA didn’t mince words, blaming most of the backlog on Federal budget cuts. The agency says the crunch forced it to furlough its air traffic controllers one day, every other week.

It save the agency nearly $640 million, but the FAA says it could cost travelers 90 minute delays on 6,700 flights every day and the early numbers show delays at Baltimore, Washington and New York’s LaGuardia spiking within just one week, but part of that they say could be weather related.

But at other airports, like Philadelphia, there’s not much change.

Basically, 10 percent fewer air traffic controllers still have to juggle the same number of planes in the air at the same time – about 5,000 of them.

As far as safety is concerned, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “Safety will never be compromised, safety is not involved in the decisions we’ve made about who to furlough and when to do it.”

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