US passengers could be hit by “significant delays” as a result of FAA budget cuts, ACI North America has warned.
ACI-NA added that other factors, such as bad weather, could make delays even worse.
Beginning this Sunday, FAA will begin furloughing air traffic controllers at facilities across the US as part of budget cuts mandated under sequestration.
The cuts could result in reduced National Airspace System (NAS) capacity and increased passenger delays, ACI-NA said.
Christopher Oswald, ACI-NA’s vice president of safety and regulatory affairs, said: “ACI-NA is very concerned about significant delays and passenger inconvenience that could occur beginning this Sunday because of air traffic controller furloughs.
“Based on information provided by FAA, we are particularly concerned that other factors, including bad weather, could make delays even worse.
“ACI-NA is working closely with our members, the airlines, FAA, and other government agencies to ensure that airports have the most up-to-date information so they can be well prepared to respond to passengers’ needs.
“As they do during severe storms and other disruptive events, airports are standing ready to assist passengers whose travel plans are disrupted by sequestration-related furloughs.”