NEW YORK - It was a tough start to the week for many air travelers as federal budget cuts led to cascading delays along the East Coast Monday morning.
Some flights out of New York and Washington were delayed by more than two hours as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)kept planes on the ground. In the Twin Cities delays averaged 15 minutes or less.
The FAA has said furloughs of air traffic controllers could lead to delays if there weren't enough people to monitor busy air corridors.
For instance, the 8 a.m. US Airways shuttle pushed back from the gate at Reagan National Airport six minutes early but didn't take off until 9:58 a.m. The plane landed at 10:48 a.m. - more than two and a half hours later than its scheduled time.
The FAA website says impact in Minnesota was minimal on Monday, but Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan says the number and length of delays could vary day by day, depending on what is happening across the system.
Hogan says like at other airports, approximately 10 percent of the air traffic control staff at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has been furloughed due to the sequester. He says that on a day when operations aren't impacted by things like weather or massive delays at other airports travelers won't notice any interruptions.
But on days impacted by storms, or problems at the nation's busiest airports like those in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, delays could be longer. Hogan suggests that travelers check with their airlines to see if flights are on time.
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