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Minor Delays At LAX Monday After Air Traffic Controller Furloughs

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Fears of long delays at LAX were quelled Monday, one day after federal budget-related furloughs of air traffic controllers resulted in travel delays of more than three hours.

LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles says the airport is experiencing a flow rate of 68 flights per hour — which includes both arrivals and departures.

Castles says this is not an abnormally low rate for LAX and that it’s expected to hold steady throughout the day with current delays of only 15 minutes.

But KNX 1070’s Jon Baird warns that bad weather, or even a marine layer, could mean longer delays Monday afternoon and evening.

On Sunday, federal furloughs kicked in after the FAA was ordered to cut $600 million from its budget as part of the government sequester.

As a result, travelers at Los Angeles International Airport were met with average delays of more than three hours.

“Due to staffing, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving at (LAX),” the FAA said in a statement. “This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 3 hours and 7 minutes.”

Long delays were also reported at other Southland airports.

Air traffic controller staffing has been cut by 10 percent which could leave two controllers during the day and one at night at LAX, according to reports.

Experts predict the furloughs could delay as many as 7,000 flights a day across the nation.

“Absolutely exasperated because it seems like no one even cares,” one traveler told CBS2 on Sunday.

The federal cuts are slated to last through Sept. 30, 2013.

“The FAA will be working with airlines and using a comprehensive set of air traffic management tools to minimize the delay impacts of lower staffing as we move into the busy summer travel season,” the agency said.

For more LAX arrival and departure information, click here.

For information on arrivals and departures across the country, click here.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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