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Senate passes bill to end air traffic controller furloughs

Air traffic controllers appear in this undated file photo.
April 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Senate has passed legislation to end air traffic controller furloughs, which were blamed for mounting flight delays.

A House vote is expected as early as Friday.

Across-the-board federal budget cuts forced the furloughs of nearly 15,000 air traffic controllers.

It's good news for both travelers and airlines, who were worried about the long-term costs late flights would have on their budgets.

Under the legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration would have authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to "prevent reduced operations and staffing" through the end of the fiscal year.

In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, Senate officials said the available funds should be enough to prevent the closure of small airport towers around the country. The FAA had previously said it would shut the facilities as it makes its share of $85 billion in spending cuts that took effect last month at numerous government agencies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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