Al Marsh

FAA says delays are awful

April 23, 2013 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

 I’m seeing a little gamesmanship out there. The FAA has laid off controllers thanks to budget sequestration, and isn’t shy about pointing out just how awful things are for travelers. Could the FAA be putting pressure on Congress to fix the budget? Just maybe? Here’s the FAA release:

“As a result of employee furloughs due to sequestration, the FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather related issues. For example, the FAA is experiencing staffing challenges at the New York and Los Angeles En Route Centers and at the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Las Vegas TRACONs. Controllers will space planes farther apart so they can manage traffic with current staff, which will lead to delays at airports including DFW, Las Vegas and LAX. The FAA also expects delays at Newark and LaGuardia because of weather and winds.

“The FAA will continue to work with the airlines throughout the day to try and minimize delays for travelers. We encourage all travelers to check their flight status and also to visit fly.faa.gov for the latest airport delay information.

“Yesterday more than 1,200 delays in the system were attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough. There were more than 1,400 additional delays as a result of weather and other factors.”

So do your job, public. Sound off about how steamed you are over the delays. After all, you’re part of the game. Personally, I don’t like games.

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2 Responses to “FAA says delays are awful”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Sound off to who? The FAA or Congress?

    The FAA is intentionally picking the highest-impact places to cut back in services. The 2012 DOT air transportation budget was $16B, these cuts are $630M, i.e. 4% of their total budget… And yet they _must_ cut back service?

    In the real world, companies cut inessential costs first, before touching expenses that affect customer-facing (revenue generating) activities. There are a million levers that responsible managers have to pull, before incurring the ire of customers: Delay R&D efforts (NexGen?) or capital improvements or community outreach or pay raises or travel or other indirect expenses…

    This kind of behavior is appalling, and the proper type of complaint to make to Congress or the President is “The FAA is not doing its job and needs executives who can manage in tough financial situations.”

  2. Alton marsh Says:

    Good point, Jeff,
    I did notice that they only hit the really big control centers. Seems like careful management would affect something other than those with the most impact.
    If I’m right about this being a game, the FAA would prefer that the public hit Congress with hundreds of complaints.–Al

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