FAA Officials: Controller Furloughs May Return
AIAA Daily Launch 18 September 2013
Bloomberg News (9/18, Levin) reports that officials including FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx have told aviation officials and lawmakers that the agency will need to furlough air-traffic controllers to close a budget shortfall of $700 million during the next fiscal year. Bloomberg News notes that this could lead to a repeat of the flight delays in April caused by staffing shortages. “We’re in for some pretty tough times,” Melissa Rudinger, senior vice president for government affairs at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, said in an interview. Meanwhile, one source said the FAA is considering eliminating contract towers, while multiple sources say that FAA officials claim that even with the authority to move money between accounts, some controller furloughs would be necessary.