Monday, April 22, 2013
This was the scene when I came up to the tower cab this morning: A row of media trucks lined up between terminals one and two. All, no doubt, waiting for the big story of the day: Air traffic delays caused by air traffic controllers being furloughed as a result of the budget sequestration. Six LAX tower controllers were assigned furloughs today -- about ten percent of our entire complement. I heard a sound bite of our LAX union rep on NPR on the way in, along with news that there were three-hour delays at LAX yesterday evening and into last night. A lot of our evening flights got pushed back past midnight; the overnight guys got a real workout.
The biggest delays I saw today were for flights leaving LAX for JFK: I saw at least one on the ground with a three-hour delay assigned. Later, we had to keep JFK flights on the ground regardless of their assigned delay time (known in controller parlance as a "ground stop"). JFK was not the only affected airport; I just happened to take note of it specifically because I worked an airplane assigned a three-hour delay. Other airports I specifically noticed were Charlotte, Newark, and Teterboro. In addition, there was a large chunk of airspace in the southeast that had flow restrictions.
One other item of news today was the 24-hour strike at Lufthansa. We had two of their aircraft spend the night at LAX, seen here via the remote camera at the west remote gates: