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Charlotte flights delayed as FAA furloughs kick in

By Steve Lyttle and Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
slyttle@charlotteobserver.comcwootson@charlotteobserver.com

More Information

  • Lawmakers urge delay in control tower furloughs
  • TSA delays allowing knives on planes
  • Airports with the highest percentage of flight delays on Monday

    1. New York LaGuardia – 52.67%

    2. Fort Lauderdale – 48.64%

    3. Orlando – 47.29%

    4. Tampa – 43.04%

    5. Denver – 41.7%

    6. Newark – 41.34%

    7. New York JFK – 36.89%

    8. Miami – 32.26%

    9. Charlotte – 31.2%

    10. Chicago Midway – 28.67%

    Data compiled by FlightStats



Charlotte Douglas International Airport had the ninth-highest percentage of its flights delayed Monday – the first weekday after the start of FAA-mandated furloughs for air traffic controllers, according to a website that tracks flight schedules.

FlightStats reported Tuesday morning that 31.2 percent of the arrivals and departures in Charlotte were late Monday.

During a three-hour period charted Tuesday morning, the on-time performance in Charlotte was better, with a little less than 20 percent of flights departing or arriving late.

The worst performance Monday was at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, where 52.67 percent of the flights were late.

Air traffic controllers are taking required furlough days as part of the federal budget cuts. Those same cuts are responsible for the loss of air traffic controllers at a number of smaller airports, including Concord and Hickory.

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte Republican, criticized the Federal Aviation Administration and the Obama administration, saying the delays could be worse in the months to come.

Pittenger, speaking to the Observer on the way to Charlotte’s airport to catch a flight, said the air traffic controller furloughs so far have occurred during a period of relatively calm weather, when delays are typically light.

“If the weather gets worse, this will intensify,” he said.

He criticized the FAA for only giving Congress a week’s notice before the furloughs began.

Waiting in Charlotte

The average delay time at Charlotte’s airport on Tuesday between 7a.m. and 10 a.m. for arrivals and departures was about 33 minutes, according to FlightStats.

The longest delay in Charlotte was 80 minutes, for a departing US Airways flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica. But there also were delays of 45 minutes or more for flights to Cleveland Hopkins International and New York’s LaGuardia airports.

FlightStats said there were 207 flight cancellations and 4,842 delays across the United States on Sunday, the first day of furloughs. On Monday, there were 400 cancellations and 6,997 delays.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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