Furloughs of air traffic controllers have some major airlines asking the FAA to relax a rule limiting how long they can leave passengers struck in a plane on the tarmac. The online group FlyersRights.org says this is just another backdoor effort to chip away at the rights of air travelers.
President Paul Hudson says, “That’s the excuse they’re giving, but there haven’t been any major delays.”
Federal budget cuts mean air traffic controllers have to take one furlough day every two weeks. Washington had warned about delays, but those problems haven’t materialized yet.
“It (furloughs) was supposed to start on Sunday and there were no significant delays,” says Hudson. “Since then there has been nothing out of the ordinary.”
The comment period as the Federal Aviation Administration considers the request lasts only through Friday. Hudson says the normal public comment period runs 30-to-60 days.