UPDATE: House passes measure to end FAA furloughs
POSTED: Friday, April 26, 2013 - 10:15am
UPDATED: Friday, April 26, 2013 - 5:09pm
EL PASO — The long waits at airports across the country are over. On Friday, U. S. Representatives passed a bill to end Federal Aviation Administration furloughs caused by federal budget cuts. The Senate passed it Thursday night.
Five days of FAA furloughs have caused headaches for many air travelers.
"We should have been here about an hour ago. We would have already been in bed sleeping. So it's been a big inconvenience," said Gabriel Moraga.
"My flights delayed. I was expecting for it to be straight and smooth you know but it’s OK. We'll roll with the punches," said Jerrian Slater.
Gabriel and Monique Moraga were visiting El Paso this weekend for their daughter's first birthday.
But, their trip here from Las Vegas overnight was anything but happy.
"I think the flight that came in from picking us up was from Los Angeles and they were delayed. It delayed our flight about an hour, because we were stuck on the runway too for about half an hour," said Gabriel Moraga.
"It was about six or seven planes before us just waiting. They were just waiting to take off so really that's where you saw the delay," said Monique Moraga.
A bill to end the furloughs would give the FAA financial flexibility to deal with staffing problems through the end of the fiscal year. It would transfer $253 million set aside for airport improvements and other projects to instead pay air-traffic controllers.
The Moraga's said lawmakers should have come up with a solution long ago.
"That's great if they could have passed it months ago. It would have been fantastic. Hopefully, they can pass it before we leave on Tuesday. That would be great," said Gabriel Moraga.
The bill also protects about 150 control towers expected to close.