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LAX delays ease Monday, Burbank unaffected

Posted: April 22, 2013 7:19 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2013 7:19 p.m.

Flight delays piled up across the country Monday as thousands of air traffic controllers began taking unpaid days off due to federal budget cuts, providing the most visible impact yet of Congress and the White House’s failure to agree on a long-term deficit-reduction plan.

The Federal Aviation Administration kept planes on the ground because there weren’t enough controllers to monitor busy air corridors.

Cascading delays held up flights at some of nation’s busiest airports, including New York, Baltimore and Washington. Many operations were more than two hours behind schedule.

Nearly a third of flights at New York’s LaGuardia airport scheduled to take off before 3 p.m. were delayed 15 minutes or more, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Last Monday, just 6 percent of LaGuardia’s flights were delayed.

The furloughs are part of mandatory budget cuts that kicked in on March 1 after Democrats and Republicans missed a deadline to agree on a long-term deficit reduction plan.

In Southern California, airport operations have not been affected, but officials say they are preparing for the worst.

Lucy Burghdorf, the public reltions and government affairs manager for Burbank Bob Hope Airport, said operations at the airport, which sees an average of 75 flights per day, have not been affected.

“We haven’t felt any impact at this airport as of yet,” Burghdorf said. “We’re not LAX, where we have thousands of flights a day.”

At Los Angeles International Airport, the operations department was treating the furloughs like an incoming storm on Sunday as delays piled up, a spokeswoman said.

“We will be actively monitoring flight delays and cancellations in consultation with our airline partners and standing by to assist them in taking care of delayed passengers,” said Jacqueline Yaft, the deputy executive director for operations and emergency management.

By Monday morning, LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles said, problems had eased with a flow rate of 68 flights per hour — including both arrivals and departures.

Another spokesman said there were no delays expected in the afternoon but workers were preparing for some for the night.




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