About 300 contract workers, most of whom provide training for air traffic controllers at the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, have been laid off due to federal budget cuts. The workers are employed by Raytheon and subcontractor ISG, according to local news reports. “This is something that is happening because of the terrible position we are in with the federal government and sequestration,” ISG president Gerald Williams told The Oklahoman. Spokesmen for the training center and for Raytheon declined to comment. Some of the workers were told the furloughs would be temporary.
As the sequester continues to affect controller staffing this week, with about 10 percent of the workforce on furlough on any given day, the impact of the staff reduction is unclear. A few airports on Monday reported above-average delays, but good weather across much of the country seemed to help keep most flights running on time. “Staffing challenges at regional centers led to ground delays and more spacing between flights around the country,” the FAA told NBC News on Monday. About 400 delays on Sunday were due to staffing shortages, the FAA said.