04/22/2013 11:09 am ET Updated Apr 22, 2013

Chicago Sequester Effects: Flight Delays Expected At O'Hare, Midway As Furloughs Begin

Significant delays are being anticipated at Chicago's two major airports after sequestration-related furloughs went into effect nationwide Sunday.

The furloughs for air traffic controllers because of government spending cuts were already causing delays beginning Sunday evening at some of the nation's airports, most notably in New York and Los Angeles.

In Chicago, flights were running on time at both O'Hare and Midway on Monday morning, but as the week wears on, delays averaging up to 50 minutes per flight due to reduced air traffic controller staffing are being anticipated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In addition to the furloughs -- one every other week per employee -- 149 control towers nationwide are closing due to the cuts. The FAA has said that takeoffs and landings will be less frequent to avoid overwhelming the reduced fleet of air traffic controllers amid the cuts, according to the Associated Press.

The expected delays arrive on top of recent news that O'Hare had the worst on-time flight performance of any airport in the nation in February.



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