Senate passes bill to end air traffic control furloughs

By Richard Cowan and Doug Palmer/Reuters

An additional 2,132 delays were attributed to weather and other factors, the FAA said. The agency said it would work with airlines to minimize delays.

Airlines, many of which are reporting earnings this week, have pushed the government to quickly ease the flight delays caused by the furloughs.

Jeff Smisek, chairman and chief executive of United Continental Holdings Inc, said his company’s network operations center was working around the clock to minimize the impact of fewer controllers.

“We are disappointed that the FAA chose this path, that maximizes customer disruptions and damage to airlines instead of choosing a less disruptive method to comply with the budget obligations,” Smisek said on a conference call.

The proposal being weighed would not spare other agencies and federal programs from the across-the-board reductions.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Doug Palmer, Thomas Ferraro, David Lawder, Karen Jacobs and Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Writing by Karey Van Hall; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney)

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