The now 35-day government shutdown is throwing air travel into a tailspin.
The Federal Aviation Authority briefly issued a ground stop for arriving flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport this morning as the government shutdown is now causing severe staffing shortages at air traffic control facilities across the country.
The FAA is reporting that staffing shortages are causing delays in Tampa, Newark and Philadelphia International airports among some others.
“We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing the spacing between aircraft as needed,” the FAA said. “The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system.”
Air Traffic Controllers and airport screeners are not being paid, while some employees are reportedly working six days a week during the ongoing government shutdown that has now reached 35 days.
The temporary halt at LaGuardia lasted for almost two hours, ending around 10:45 a.m. The FAA has advised travelers to anticipate flight delays as air travel returns to normal operations.
The FAA tweeted the following statement about the ground stoppage shortly after it began:
“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two facilities. We are mitigating the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing space between aircraft when needed. The public can monitor air traffic at fly.faa.gov, and they should check with airlines for more information.”