Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Furloughs May Cause Delays at Teterboro

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Furloughs May Cause Delays at Teterboro

Article excerpt

Teterboro Airport, one of the busiest for business jet traffic in the country, may experience flight delays and longer lines at security checks, similar to those expected at Newark Liberty International Airport, if the federal government furloughs air traffic controllers as planned starting in April, according to a representative of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, a union group.

"Teterboro is likely in the same boat," said Ray Adams, the union's local facility representative in the control tower at Newark Liberty International Airport. "Sometimes they are as busy as we are."

Expected furloughs of air traffic controllers because of automatic federal budget cuts would reduce Newark's ability to handle flights by 10 percent to 20 percent, causing long delays at what is already among the country's most delayed airports, the controllers union said last month. The furloughs would be for one day per two-week pay period.

The Teterboro tower has 21 controllers and four trainees assigned to it, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Charter operators and industry observers are saying they expect the FAA to be extra careful to maintain proper oversight of the congested New York metropolitan area airspace. But they do have concerns about possible long delays because of overburdened control towers. Teterboro had about 146,000 flights into and out of the airport in 2012.

"The FAA will do everything it can to move traffic efficiently in and out of the New York area," said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of the National Business Aviation Association, a trade group. Brown said he has heard from FAA officials that control tower managers will adjust work schedules so most of the furlough time comes during off-peak hours, but concerns remain because sequestration is "uncharted water," he said.

"We don't really know, say, for instance, on a bad weather day, what is going to happen and how demand and capacity will work out," he said. …

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