Spending cuts could force airport runway closures

9:06 AM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
Flights cancelled at Hartsfield-Jackson. (File Photo)
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WASHINGTON -- Air traffic controllers are warning that automatic spending cuts could force some of the nation's busiest airports to close runways, causing widespread flight delays and cancellations.

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A report released Wednesday by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association predicts Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be forced to close one of its three runways because furlough of controllers will leave too few to handle planes.

Instead of 126 landings per hour, there would be only 96, the report said. Hartsfield-Jackson handles more passengers than any other airport in the world.

The report said Houston's Intercontinental and Chicago's O'Hare airports may also have to close runways.

The spending cuts are scheduled to go into effect on Friday, but furloughs won't kick in until April.

(Associated Press)

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