Flights Delayed At LaGuardia Airport Due To Lack Of Air Traffic Controllers
By Sharelle Burt
The government shutdown is messing with everyone’s travel plans. Some of the country’s biggest airports like in Houston and Miami have had to shut terminals down due to a shortage of TSA workers. Now another airport, in one of the biggest cities in the world, has been added to the list.
The FAA said incoming flights to LaGuardia Airport in New York City will be delayed thanks to the shortage. An official stop of traffic on the ground was ordered shortly after 10:00 am this morning. “We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida,” the FAA said. “As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources. We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing the spacing between aircraft as needed.”
Close to 800,000 federal government employees have gone over a month without being paid, forcing many of them to seek other employment just to make ends meet.
On the website, the FAA tells travelers to expect delays between 41 minutes and an hour and 15 minutes as a result.
As the government shutdown goes into day 35, travel industry executives are warning travelers of the safety precautions, saying the situation has reached a “tipping point.” As the FAA makes the announcement, more airlines are being added to the list. East Coast airports such as Reagan International in Washington D.C., Newark Liberty International, and Philadelphia International were also experiencing delays Friday. Many air traffic controllers and other staff members haven’t been paid, which is forcing some of them to resign.
The news coming in from LaGuardia is not airline specific. The FAA is still telling travelers to check with their airline to determine if their flights are being affected.