Reno Tahoe's Tower Will Remain Manned, But Expect Delays Elsewhere

By  | 

Furloughs for the nation's air traffic controllers are scheduled to begin Sunday and that could begin to snarl air travel throughout the US.

The furloughs won't leave Reno Tahoe Airports tower dark. We're told it will remain manned 24/7.

And it's not going to have a big impact at the nation's smallest airports at least yet. The F-A-A has delayed the closure of towers at 149 of them until mid-June.

The big impact is going to be at the nation's busiest airports. Fewer air traffic controllers at hubs like New York, Chicago and LA will mean delays, perhaps as long as three hours in Atlanta.

And that's going to send a ripple effect throughout the air travel industry.

If your travel plans include connections at those cities, you might want to take along a book and plan for a long layover.

"You want to keep those connections quick,"says Reno Tahoe Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin. "You want to get to the airport with that little bit of time to go and not dwell on the airport, but this is a time when maybe those travel habits are going to have to change a little bit."

All of this is happening because of that sequestration agreement and the big across the board cuts the Congress and the administration imposed on themselves to force a budget agreement.

The F-A-A needed to cut $600 million dollars and says this is the only way they could do it.

The nation's airlines and the pilots union argue the F-A-A could have found other ways to make the cuts. Late today they filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to block the furloughs.