Airport Furloughs Are Here

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM EDT

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WKBW) - Cuts to airport employees went into effect Sunday. Initially, there were no major delays because Sunday is typically a slow travel day. Monday will be much different as business travel kicks in.

This round of furloughs for those employees affects 15,000 Air Traffic Controllers nationwide. They are people who help guide arriving and departing flights. These furloughs are due to steep federal budget cuts.

Airline trade groups warn these cuts will eventually affect one out of three travelers at some point and could delay flights by as much as 80 minutes. Senator Charles Schumer spoke about the issue and worries it could affect New York State's economy.

"These delays could have very bad effects, not only on convenience for travelers, that's bad enough but on our New York economy. We are an economy that depends on people coming and going here. When people decide not to fly here they don't spend money at the hotels, they don't eat at the restaurants, they don't go to the shows. If they hear that these delays are going to be very serious, they may decide not to come," Schumer said.

Schumer said New York State will lose 60 to 80 workers per day because they each have 11 furlough days and they will alternate days off. This will trickle down causing delays across the state, including here in Western New York.