SFO flights move along as air traffic control furloughs disrupt travel elsewhere 

click to enlarge Fliers check flight statuses Monday at SFO, where air traffic was moving smoothly. - ROBERT GALBRAITH/REUTERS
  • Robert Galbraith/REUTERS
  • Fliers check flight statuses Monday at SFO, where air traffic was moving smoothly.

The first day of work furloughs for air traffic controllers passed without incident at San Francisco International Airport, as no delays were reported at the hub Monday.

As part of a series of spending cuts enacted earlier this year due to gridlock in Washington, D.C., the Federal Aviation Administration announced mandatory days off for airline workers across the nation beginning Sunday.

Although other airports — particularly on the East Coast — suffered delays due to the work reduction, SFO did not experience any notable setbacks, according to spokesman Doug Yakel.

So far, none of the hub’s local workers have been forced to take furlough days, but SFO officials are keeping a close eye on potential developments.

“Right now, we’re just monitoring things day to day,” Yakel said. “We’re not seeing any delays right now, but that could change as things progress.”

Yakel said that staffing shortages at other domestic airports could lead to ripple effects in San Francisco. He also said there is a chance that regional air traffic control centers — which monitor several airports — could see workers furloughed, a scenario that could also hamper traffic at SFO.

The work furloughs for FAA employees are a result of the federal budget cuts that came out of a last-ditch alternative to reduce nearly $1.3 trillion in spending over the next decade.


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Will Reisman

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