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Buffalo airport won’t be hurt by controller furloughs

Lengthy flight delays at the nation’s major airports could begin Sunday when federal budget cuts cause furloughs of air traffic controllers, but probably not at mid-sized facilities like Buffalo Niagara International, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said this week that computer simulations based on a system with 10 percent fewer controllers could cause varying delays at airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York or Atlanta.

While those delays could cause ripple effects at Buffalo, furloughs are not expected to originate delays here, according to an FAA spokesman.

“Buffalo Niagara International Airport is not among the airports where we expect to see serious delays on a daily basis,” the spokesman said. “However, air traffic controllers at all of our facilities will be subject to furloughs. Depending on the time of day, the weather and traffic conditions at other airports, it’s possible that delays still could affect flight schedules.”

FAA is planning to reduce its expenditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of Fiscal 2013 because of the federal government’s across the board cuts known as “sequestration.”