Tourism/Transportation

FAA mulls nixing overnight flights at LMM

It is not clear yet how many air traffic controllers could be affected by the looming change. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) It is not clear yet how many air traffic controllers could be affected by the looming change. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday it is considering eliminating the overnight shift of air traffic control tower operators at Luis Muñoz Marín Airport in early April as part of a plan to reduce its expenditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013.

The plan is to “prepare for the possibility of a budget sequestration on March 1,” the agency said in a statement

“Among the changes we are considering are furloughing the vast majority of our 47,000 employees for approximately one day per pay period; closing over 100 air traffic control facilities; eliminating the overnight shift at over 60 facilities; and reducing preventive maintenance and support for all air traffic control equipment,” the agency said.

“All of these changes will be finalized as to scope and details through collaborative discussions with our users and our unions,” the federal agency noted. “We will begin furloughs and start facility shut-downs in April.”

Eliminating the overnight shift at LMM could affect several red-eye flights operated by JetBlue, Spirit and several other carriers.

It is not clear yet how many air traffic controllers in Puerto Rico could be affected by the looming change.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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