Sequester could close runways at major Madison connections - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sequester could close runways at major Madison connections

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Air traffic controllers are warning that automatic federal spending cuts in the sequester, set to take effect Friday, could force some of the nation's busiest airports to close runways. They say that could lead to flight delays and cancellations.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association released a study that predicts Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport will be forced to close one of its three runways because furloughs of controllers will leave too few to handle planes.

Instead of 126 landings per hour, there would be only 96 landings per hour, the report found. Hartsfield handles more passengers than any other airport in the world.

The report said Houston's Intercontinental and Chicago's O'Hare airports may also have to close runways.

Delta flights from Dane County Regional Airport connect through Atlanta and the airport also offers United flights that connect through Chicago-O'Hare. 

The $85 billion in spending cuts will effect all federal agencies. Furloughs would not kick in until April.

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