Rick Scott asks President Barack Obama to halt air traffic controller furloughs

Published On: Apr 22 2013 09:01:03 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 22 2013 06:13:53 PM EDT

Governor Rick Scott writes a letter to President Barack Obama, seeking to stop the furlough of air traffic controllers.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida Governor Rick Scott is asking President Barack Obama to stop the furlough of air traffic controllers which were ordered to achieve spending cuts required by Congress.

Scott sent a letter to the president on Sunday, saying the furloughs will have a devastating impact on families by creating unnecessary delays at Florida airports.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida airports accommodate more than 142 million passengers annually. Scott said the furloughs would cause a direct economic output reduction of $19 million annually.

Lisa Shlosser, a frequent business traveler who's Monday flight to Maryland was delayed said that gate agents told her weather was the problem.

"It's definitely because of the furloughs," Shlosser said. "I've been a frequent traveler for years, and I've never experienced this."

Though weather may be an issue, several airports are experiencing delays due to what Federal Aviation Administration calls "staffing." The furloughs are causing air traffic contollers to take off one day every two weeks causing delays in flights by at least 90 minutes.

The governor said Florida communities will be disproportionately impacted because the state has four large hub airports, including those in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

The airline industry and the nation's largest pilots union are suing the Federal Aviation Administration over the furloughs.

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