Flights into the three major airports are delayed Friday morning by an average of 41 minutes, according to the FAA.
Departing flights from Philadelphia and Newark are delayed between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes, and LaGuardia departures delayed between 15 and 30 minutes, the FAA said.
“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida,” the FAA said in a statement.
“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 spacing between aircraft as needed.”
The delays — as the partial federal government shutdown marks its 35th day — come less than two days after the president of a major air traffic controllers union warned that the ongoing shutdown poses a major safety risk.
Air traffic workers are making “routine mistakes” due to high levels of stress caused by the shutdown, Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told CNN on Wednesday night.
ATLANTA – The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed on Friday that there is a ground stop at LaGuardia Airport and that flights are delayed in New York and Florida airports due to air traffic controller absences.
The ground stop, which mean flight cannot fly into the Queens airport, is in effect until 10:45 a.m. ET, FAA said.
“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida. 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.
Friday marks the beginning of the second missed paycheck for as many as 800,000 partial U.S. government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history. President Trump and Congressional Democrats are still at at stalemate over the federal budget. The president insists on funding for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, a key campaign promise.
“We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed. The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system. The public can monitor air traffic at fly.faa.gov and they should check with airline carriers for more information,” Martin said.
Channel 2’s Nicole Carr spoke with Dan McCabe with National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He told her business is running as usual right now among air traffic controllers at the Atlanta airport. According to the FAA’s website, flights leaving Atlanta for the impacted airports, including New York’s LaGuardia airport, will likely experience delays.