No obvious delays at TIA - Tucson News Now

No obvious delays at TIA

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

While some airports across the country were experiencing delays, Tucson is not, at least not yet.

15,000 air traffic controllers nationwide are being forced to take a furlough day every two weeks because of the sequester, a series of federal budget cuts.

That means a 10% cut in personnel in the control towers every day.

The FAA says there are 16 controllers and 23 staff in the approach tower in Tucson. The tower here will see the same effect as towers at busier airports.

It's estimated Tucson will lose four staff members a day for the next 11 weeks.

But while other airports, like LaGuardia, Kennedy and the Reagan in Washington, are experiencing some delays, Tucson does not appear to be affected yet.

"I'm concerned," says Jim Larsen. "I think it's ridiculous."

He flew into Tucson from Chicago on a flight that was an hour and a half late.

But it didn't have to do with the sequester. The air conditioner needed to be replaced before the place took off.

Larsen says there must be a better way to balance the budget rather than cutting "essential things."

Asked whether safety could be one of those essentials, "exactly, exactly," he says.,

Steve Pomeroy is skeptical of the cuts and believes "the whole thing is made up to scare people into thinking things are worse than they are."

Left alone he says "I think it will work its way out."

Another flight into Tucson was an hour late but it was sitting on the tarmac getting de-iced.

"It had nothing to do with the traffic controllers," one passenger said.

Tucson could see delays later as a domino effect takes over.

But people we talked to on flights from Miami, Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix said it appears to them it was business as usual.

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