FAA Temporarily Halts Some Flights into LaGuardia, Citing Shutdown, Staff Shortages

FAA Temporarily Halts Some Flights into LaGuardia, Citing Shutdown, Staff Shortages

FAA Temporarily Halts Some Flights into LaGuardia, Citing Shutdown, Staff Shortages

Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at New York-area and Philadelphia airports on Friday as air traffic controllers called in sick hours before President Donald Trump announced an end to the 35-day partial shutdown of the us government.

Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes said air travel was reaching a "tipping point" because of the shutdown, warning of delays, long waits and flight cancellations.

Flights were temporarily restricted i and out of LaGuardia Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport was experiencing significant delays as well - namely due to a shortage of air-traffic controllers, federal officials said.

At LaGuardia, the FAA said it was bringing in extra staff, increasing spacing between aircraft and rerouting traffic, but warned of delays for arriving flights of almost 90 minutes. "As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources", FAA spokesman Gregory Martin wrote ABC News in an email.

The FAA, which urged travellers to check with airlines about possible flight delays, said it was managing the impact by calling in staff, rerouting traffic and allowing more space between flight departures. Martin said safety is being maintained during a period of "minimal impacts" on travel. "We remain grateful to the air traffic controllers, technicians and inspectors for their continued professionalism and dedication to their safety mission".

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The delays immediately became a new flashpoint in the political standoff between the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives and US President Donald Trump over the shutdown, caused by a dispute about funding for Trump's plan to increase barriers on the US-Mexico border.

A spokesperson for Port Authority could not offer any further information, but said they were working to "get to the bottom of this".

Air traffic controllers have worked more than a month without pay - and union leaders fear a mass exodus will put travelers at risk and cripple the airline industry.

"We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA", Sanders said in a statement. TSA would not to reveal callout rates for individual airports.

Lang said she didn't mind the delay because she wants her two friends who are air traffic controllers - one in Jacksonville and the other in Minnesota - to get paid. The move, which requires agreements in the Senate and Congress, could mean the 800,000 government workers will begin receiving paycheques.

Air Canada posted a statement on its website notifying customers that flights into Newark and LaGuardia are affected by air-traffic-control restrictions and that it is waiving the fee to rebook a seat.

Air traffic controller staffing nationwide also already had been a key FAA consideration. The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) had briefly halted flights entirely at LaGuardia, one of the busiest airports in the United States, Friday morning, although that notice has now been lifted.

"We are encouraged that [Judge Leon] acknowledged the ongoing hardships our members are facing because of the shutdown", Gilbert said in a release after the ruling.

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