Airlines Take FAA to Court to Block Obama Furloughs

Thanks to the Obama administration, work furloughs involving air traffic controllers are causing headaches around the nation. Hundreds of flights were delayed on Sunday and Monday.
obama pain
The Obama furloughs and flight delays kicked in on Sunday.

The nation’s airlines asked a federal judge to stop the furloughs saying the FAA could cut elsewhere and spare the traveling public the pain of delays.
12 News Now reported:

The nation’s airlines asked a federal court on Friday to stop the imminent furlough of air traffic controllers, saying the cuts could delay 6,700 flights daily with passengers waiting up to four hours in some cases.

The Federal Aviation Administration is beginning the furloughs on Sunday as part of government-wide spending cuts that took effect in March due to inaction by Congress on a plan to cut the deficit.

The FAA said the impact of the furloughs could be felt as early as Monday. Furloughs are hitting other agencies as well.

While both sides agree furloughs would lead to substantial flight delays, the FAA and the airlines disagree on whether they are necessary.

The FAA says it must furlough all 47,000 of its employees, including 15,000 air traffic controllers, as part of $637 million in planned spending cuts by September 30, the end of the government’s fiscal year. The FAA’s annual budget is $16 billion.

“We cannot avoid furloughs,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said this week.

But the airlines said that step is “based on a false legal premise — that Congress has required the precise cuts that (the FAA has) ordered. However, the Budget Control Act does nothing of the sort,” the airlines argued in court papers.

The agency could cut elsewhere and spare the traveling public the acute pain it will feel when controllers stay home, the carriers said.

The motion was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by Airlines for America, the trade association representing major airlines.

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