UNDATED (AP) -- Commercial airline flights moved smoothly throughout most of the country on Sunday, but experts say the first real test is Monday when traffic increases amid furloughs of air traffic controllers resulting from government spending cuts.
Sunday was the first day the controllers were subject to furloughs and some delays appeared in the late evening in and around New York. But the nightmarish flight delays and cancellations that the airline industry predicted would result from the furloughs have not materialized yet.
The trade group Airlines for America, which represents the airlines and had predicted a big traffic snarl, says it will continue to monitor the situation.
FAA officials have said the budget cuts left them no choice but to furlough all 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 controllers. Each employee will lose one day of work every other week.
Government budget cuts that kicked in last month are forcing the FAA and other agencies to cut their spending. FAA officials have said they have no choice but to furlough all 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 controllers. Each employee will lose one day of work every other week. The FAA has said that planes will have to take off and land less frequently, so as not to overload the remaining controllers on duty.
Airline trade groups and the country's biggest pilots union sued the FAA on Friday to try to stop the furloughs. They predicted that the furloughs would delay or cancel flights for as many as one out of every three airline passengers across the country. Airlines have also directed their customers to tell the FAA to find other ways to cut costs.