Flights delayed at major U.S. airports due to staffing issues amid government shutdown
Flights are being delayed at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey due to staffing issues, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Air traffic LaGuardia is delayed roughly 41 minutes on average, while departing flights from Philadelphia and Newark are delayed between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes, according to the FAA.
“There is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving La Guardia Airport, New York, NY (LGA),” per the FAA website. “This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 41 minutes.”
Air Canada said on its website that flights at Newark and LaGuardia may be impacted due to air “traffic control restrictions.”
“Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings,” the airline said. “Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting.”
A spokesperson for the FAA said in a statement to Global News there’s also been a “slight increase in sick leave” at Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, Florida traffic control centres.
“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two facilities. We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft when needed,” an FAA spokesperson said in a statement. “The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system.”
The air traffic delays come amid a government shutdown that is now in its 35th day, the longest shutdown of federal agencies in U.S. history.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation.
“The President has been briefed and we are monitoring the ongoing delays at some airports,” Sanders said. “We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA.”
Friday also marks the second missed paycheck for 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay.
More to come.
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