The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 20, 2013

Expect some flight delays

NORMAN — Sunday’s planned cutbacks by the Federal Aviation Administration will be one of the first agency cutbacks to directly impact Americans.

The FAA says it will reduce staffing at some major airports beginning Sunday. Flight delays, some as long as 210 minutes, are to be expected.

However, the FAA says the average wait will be about 11 minutes. Airports impacted include Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York area.

Furloughs and hour cutbacks in many federal agencies have been instituted without much public outcry from citizens. Employee groups and some vendors have protested but the reaction from most citizens seems to be indifferent.

The FAA says it was forced into furloughing air traffic controllers in order to cut $637 million from its budget. An earlier decision to eliminate contract control towers at smaller airports drew quick response from Congress.

That plan was put on hold. Meanwhile, several cities and counties, as well as universities, stepped up to keep their local control towers operating. OU agreed to fund the ongoing operation of Max Westheimer’s tower.

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