DENVER (CBS4) – The airlines, including one of Denver’s largest carriers — Frontier — are warning of longer flight delays this summer. They say having fewer air controllers will take a toll on traffic.

The Federal Aviation Administration has already started mandatory furlough days for controllers due to the federal budget cuts, but now there may be a break in the so called sequester stalemate.

The White House says it might accept legislation ending the furloughs but keeping all other budget cuts in place. But no matter what the White House says, it’s still up to Congress to make it happen. Lawmakers on both sides blame each other for the problem.

There haven’t been any problems at Denver International Airport yet, but Frontier Airlines has warned it’s fliers that longer delays are here to stay.

Some of the nation’s airports are seeing more traffic jams because fewer air traffic controllers are on the job.

FAA’s administrator Michael Huerta told lawmakers he had to give controllers unpaid days off to help make more than $600 million in budget cuts that Congress imposed.

“These are all bad choices, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that, but in order to comply with the sequester law we had to take this action,” Huerta said.

Some politicians insist the cuts should have been made somewhere else, and Democrats and Republicans are blaming each other.

The cutback in controllers has already led to thousands of delays this week. Some airline experts say wait times could get much worse.


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