FAA furloughs officially suspended
(CNN) — After a typo-related delay, legislation was signed by President Barack Obama Tuesday to end budget-related FAA air traffic controller furloughs that caused widespread travel delays last week. Despite the holdup on the president’s signature, the fix went into effect over the weekend.
An “s” missing from the word “accounts” was to blame, a congressional source told CNN.
The bill gives the FAA permission to move money from other accounts that allows it to stop furloughing controllers. But the way the Senate version of the bill read, it would have limited the source of funds to an “account.” The Senate bill has since been fixed.
The FAA issued a statement Saturday saying that it had suspended all employee furloughs and expected normal operations to resume Sunday evening.
In rare bipartisan accord, U.S. lawmakers passed the measure Friday, capping a major congressional initiative as delays snarled traffic at airports.
The measure gives the Transportation Department budget planners new flexibility for dealing with forced spending cuts.
It also allows authorities to protect 149 control towers at small- and medium-sized airports that are slated for closure for budgetary reasons.
Thousands of flight delays were attributed to the furloughs last week.