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Federal Aviation Administration furloughs begin in Abilene, across country

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 22 2013 10:12:32 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2013 02:02:01 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration began furloughs for employees all over the nation, including Abilene.

Abilene Regional Airport isn't seeing any significant delays so far, but they are worried about how delays at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport could impact air travel.   

American Airlines flights arriving in Dallas have been coming in a little later than planned Monday and that could cause a domino effect in Abilene. No one knows how long the delays may last. 

"It depends on how FAA manages this. If the controllers taking a furlough day are spaced the same each day then what we see today is maybe indicative of what we see throughout the rest of the fiscal year," said Don Green, Operations Manager at Abilene Regional Airport. 

Passengers arriving in Abilene Monday told us they have had no problems.

"I got an email telling me that there was a possibility of delays and that they couldn't verify whether my flight would be on time today, but it was," said Sherron Torres who flew into Abilene from Dallas Monday. Torres can't say the same for her sister. 

"Her flight was delayed from New Orleans to Dallas and they had to put her on a standby flight and confirmed her on a 9 o’ clock flight tonight. A six hour layover," said Torres.

Abilene’s air traffic controllers being furloughed are having one work day cut every two weeks.

"I’ve been through furloughs before and I know that it's a concern. I mean you're trying to manage a family budget so I’m certainly sympathetic towards that," Green said.

Green said anyone flying out of Abilene who wants to check on the status of their flight can visit www.aa.com. They can also sign up for text message alerts when they book their flight.