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FAA furloughs to impact air traffic controllers at JIA

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Updated: 4/22/2013 3:42 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Airlines are bracing for what may be a stressful summer travel season. Starting Sunday there will be fewer air traffic controllers at airports across the country, including Jacksonville International.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration budget cuts will force furloughs for all air traffic controllers.

For frequent travelers that could mean more flight delays.

"I just wonder how things can get tighter than they already are," said Nancy Bowyer, traveler.

More than 15,000 employees will have to take one unpaid day off every two weeks, meaning fewer people to staff towers.

Bigger airports like Atlanta, Miami and New York's JFK are likely to see significant delays creating a domino affect that causes headaches for local travelers as well.

"Everything is connected and related my flights have always been a one stop so where there are delays, yes my flights are delayed," said Bowyer.

In a statement sent to Action News the FAA says "
Jacksonville International is not among the airports that we expect to see serious delays on a daily basis. However, air traffic controllers at all of our facilities will be subject to furloughs."

Bowyer says she'll be packing her patience next time she takes a flight.

"I guess we better be ready for some waits," said Bowyer.

Airlines for America, an organization that advocates for domestic carriers has filed a lawsuit to prevent the FAA from furloughing its employees that lawsuit is not expected to go to court until next week.
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