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Airline Groups Sue FAA to Halt Furloughs of Controllers

Airline trade groups seeking to block budget-driven furloughs of air-traffic controllers said in a lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration that the planned cutbacks are based on a flawed reading of the law.

The furloughs of controllers, which the FAA says are required under automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, would reduce aviation system capacity and hurt the economy, according to the suit, filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.

“The capacity reduction plan requires a blanket 10 percent cut in hours across the board, with no consideration of the impacts on the traveling public or the air transportation,” the trade groups, joined by the Air Line Pilots Association International, said in their petition.

Groups filing the suit are Airlines for America, the trade group representing major U.S. airlines and the Regional Airline Association.

The case is Airlines for America v. Federal Aviation Administration, 13-1140, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at; Angela Greiling Keane in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at; Bernard Kohn at

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