Flight delays: Furloughs begin at airports Sunday

WASHINGTON (AP) — Air
traffic controller furloughs scheduled to kick in on Sunday could result
in flight delays of more than three hours in Atlanta, as well as
significant delays in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York-area airports,
federal officials said Thursday.

Without the furloughs, FAA
officials could find no way to cut $637 million from the agency's budget
as required by automatic, across-the-board spending cuts approved by
Congress, said Michael Huerta, the agency's administrator. The FAA has
warned of flight delays that will vary depending on each airport's
traffic load and situation.

Likewise, the agency sees no way
around closing 149 air traffic control towers at small airports that are
currently operated under contract for the FAA, Huerta told the Senate
Appropriations Committee's transportation subcommittee. The tower
closings have been delayed until June 15.