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Mainly Weather, Not Furloughs Forces Some Delays At DIA

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Denver International Airport (credit: CBS)

Denver International Airport (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Some air traffic controllers at Denver International Airport are being furloughed because of federal budget cuts, but no significant flight delays have been reported as a result.

There was a fair amount of delays at DIA, but the Federal Aviation Administration says the delays are weather-related. Those departing from DIA can expect more times on the runways because of de-icing.

FAA officials say 10 percent of traffic controllers nationwide are on furlough at any given time.

The furloughs began Sunday.

A total of 59 controllers are assigned to the Denver tower. An FAA spokesman didn’t know how many would normally be on duty at any given time.

The Federal Aviation Administration kept planes on the ground at other airports because there weren’t enough controllers to monitor busy air corridors. Cascading delays held up flights at some of nation’s busiest airports, including New York, Baltimore and Washington. Many operations were more than two hours behind schedule.

At one point, the delays were so bad that passengers on several Washington-New York shuttle flights could have reached their destination faster by taking the train.

Nearly a third of flights at New York’s LaGuardia airport scheduled to take off before 3 p.m. were delayed 15 minutes or more, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. Last Monday, just 6 percent of LaGuardia’s flights were delayed.

The situation was similar at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, in Newark, N.J., and in Philadelphia, with roughly 20 percent of flights delayed.

The pilot’s union is suing to try to put the controllers back on the job full time.

More than 53 million passengers used the Denver airport last year, a record. It was the fifth-busiest airport in the nation in 2012.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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