Delays Expected After FAA Begins Employee Furloughs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Heading to the airport? Be sure to pack your patience. The FAA has begun furloughing its employees, including air traffic controllers, starting Sunday.

As of 10:30 a.m., the Sunday morning travel traffic was just starting to pick up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

And anyone flying out Sunday will be happy to see, right now, pretty much every flight is on time.

Not looking like furloughs are having an effect on travel quite yet.

Officials with the airport say they aren’t expecting a big impact on the flight schedule in the Twin Cities.

Or at least not to the extent of some of the busiest airports around the country.

Nearly 15,000 controllers are scheduled for one day off, every other week through the end of September.

It’s the result of budget cuts required by the sequester.

Some travelers say they are expecting some very long delays in the coming weeks.

Two groups, the airline trade association and Pilots Union, filed a lawsuit against the FAA to try to stop the furloughs. However, a judge won’t take up that case until next week — days after the furloughs start.

The FAA is not commenting.

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