Sequestration Causes Flight Delays

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Air Traffic Control towers will lose about 1,000 controllers each day across the country until sequestration is over. All 47,000 FAA employees, including 15,000 controllers are now forced to take one unpaid day off every two weeks. Even though staffers in Key Field's tower will face furloughs, Meridian Airport Authority President Tom Williams says that they don't expect any problems on their end, but issues in Atlanta could cause delays.

"Our people have told me that we've got workarounds, and that we'll be able to schedule in such a way that it will not impact safety or efficiency of air traffic here."

Williams believes this latest measure will make air travel even more unattractive then it already is.

"Our first big shot was when the security measures got so tight and you had to get to a large airport 2 hours ahead of time, and now we're going to make the air traffic due to sequestration less efficient, so flights leave late or they have to hold en route and foul up people's schedules."

For instance, if a groundstop goes into effect at the Atlanta airport, that could cause the Silver planes to either sit on the tarmac in Meridian or circle around the Atlanta airport waiting to land, and that will delay passengers and cost lots of money.

"They have ways of taking up that slack or that congestion by just delaying either flights leaving or flights en route already, which is an expensive thing to do. If you're sitting on the ground, you're delaying all those passengers. If you're in the air holding, you're burning a lot of fuel, and delaying those passengers."