(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Aviation Administration announced Saturday that it is suspending employee furloughs and will restore normal staffing levels at air traffic facilities by Sunday evening, easing more than a week of major delays because of cutbacks in air traffic control.
“The FAA has suspended all employee furloughs. Air traffic facilities will begin to return to regular staffing levels over the next 24 hours and the system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening,” the FAA said in a statement.
On Friday, Congress passed legislation which provides the FAA with transfer authority for $253 million until October to restore the staffing levels at the nation’s airports which have encountered major airline delays over the past week as the furloughs have hit air traffic controllers.
A White House official told ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny that President Obama was set to sign the legislation over the weekend but must now wait until Tuesday so that a spelling error in the measure can be corrected.
In his weekly address Saturday, the president called the legislation merely a “Band-Aid” and said Congress must end the cuts impacting other services stemming from $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.
“These cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people,” the president said. “We can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut. It’s not a responsible way to govern. There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: by replacing it before it causes further damage.”
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