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Senate passes bill to end flight controller furloughs

8:58 PM, Apr 25, 2013   |    comments
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- On Thursday. the Senate passed legislation to end air traffic controller furloughs that have been blamed for causing much inconvenience for travelers.

Flight delays have recently been on the rise.

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Approval came without dissent, and long after many senators had left the Capitol for a weeklong vacation.

A House vote is expected as early as Friday.

Under the measure, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to "prevent reduced operations and staffing" through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

Officials said that would likely be enough to restore full staffing for the furloughed controllers, as well as prevent the closure of small airport towers.

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