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Flight Delays Expected In San Diego As Sequestration Cuts Take Effect

Above: American Airlines passengers wait in line at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois.

Air traffic controllers began taking mandatory furloughs this week, which could cause flight delays of a few minutes to a few hours at major airports, including San Diego Lindbergh Field.

Aired 4/23/13 on KPBS News.

Mandatory furloughs kicked in this week for air traffic controllers, which could cause flight delays of a few minutes to a few hours at major airports, including San Diego Lindbergh Field.

The flight tracking web site reported 20 percent of flights out of San Diego were late or very late as of Monday afternoon. But San Diego airport officials say the delays were not related to furloughs.

The furloughs officially began on Sunday, but most delays were minor because air traffic was light and weather conditions were good, according to the FAA.

Today's busier schedule will likely be a better gauge of how furloughs will impact air travel.

The Department of Transportation was forced to cut $1 billion from its budget, with $637 million coming from the FAA's $16 billion budget.

Nearly 47,000 agency employees nationwide will be furloughed, including 15,000 controllers. Each employee will lose one day of work every other week.

Approximately 10 percent of controllers will be on furlough every day, according to FAA.

"Operations at any given airport are affected not only by that airport's control tower staffing but also by staffing at the nearest FAA approach control, which typically handles arrivals and departures from multiple airports within a given area. So controller staffing issues at the approach control will affect the flow into and out of nearby airports," said Ian Gregor, FAA public affairs manager, in released statement.

The FAA also plans to close control towers at 149 small airports on June 15, including San Diego's Brown Field and Ramona Airport.

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Avatar for user 'bailarin'

bailarin | April 22, 2013 at 8:24 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

PNTR China is the largest transfer of wealth program the U.S. Congress and the White House enacted. What used to go to government coffers and American workers/middle-class went to the pockets of CEOs in the form of hundreds of millions in bonuses, members of the U.S. Congress and residents of the White House in the form of campaign contribution (Bribe in layman's term) and to China who is now growing its military and space program (We now can't afford).

PNTR China allowed Corporate America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to transfer America's advantage in Science and Technology, research and manufacturing know-how and to boot the training of Chinese engineers and technicians. All these with dual applications; commercial and military.

PNTR China resulted in millions of American workers loosing their jobs, decrease in import tax revenue and drastic reduction in the individual and business tax base for income tax revenue and Social Security and Medicare funding. Since the onset of NAFTA in 1994 and PNTR China in 2000 the cumulative negative balance of trade amounts to 7.9 trillion dollars.

PNTR China took away the government's stimulus spending tool during a recession. Now that consumer goods manufacturing is in China and the Third World consumer spending has a very minimal effect in the domestic economy due to the fact that jobs are created in China and the Third World to replenish consumer goods inventory.

What we pay for Chinese and Third World goods is not the actual cost of the goods. We have to factor in; trillions in negative balance of trade, trillions in budget deficit at the Federal, State and Local levels, the stress on the American workers/middle-class immeasurable.

The military implication of PNTR China is scary.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | April 22, 2013 at 8:41 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

bailarin - What are you talking about? This article is about air traffic controllers.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | April 22, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

PNTR China hires American air traffic controllers, JeanMarc. They go to work in China for more money. Wages and benefits, skills more valuable, insurance and free market. These are all the reasons, there is industrialization, and what follows? The connections is there for you to see. Globalization makes it so. That is why. Do you not see?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 22, 2013 at 8:36 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I am dismayed by how insulated and closed-off the American media is.

A major world airline, Lufthansa, has a strike going on canceling travel through major hubs like Frankfurt, yet this is not mentioned in any of the American media reports I have seen regarding airline cancellations. Wouldn't this at least warrant a mention as yet one more potential cause of airline delays?

Lufthansa flies out of many U.S. cities, and ode-shares out of San Diego.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | April 22, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

*code shares

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