FAA Delays Flights Due to Staffing Issues

FAA delays flights at New York, Florida airports

Fights at airports around the northeast were delayed Friday morning due to staffing issues at two Federal Aviation Administration facilities.

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Update 4:00 p.m. EST: Transportation Security Administration workers and other federal employees are protesting at Oakland International Airport, according to tweets from KGO-TV reporter Leslie Brinkley. The protesters were quoted saying, “We don’t want a pause. We want a stop to playing politics with people’s lives,” Brinkley tweeted.

Update 3:25 p.m. EST: American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. released a statement responding to President Trump’s announced deal meant to end the government shutdown.

“While reopening the government is long overdue, I will not celebrate a temporary reprieve to a politically motivated crisis," Cox said. “Over the next three weeks, Congress must pass full-year appropriations for all government agencies as well legislation to make all affected federal employees whole. We are also urging Congress to act to prevent the use of shutdowns from ever occurring again.”

The entire statement can be read at the AFGE website here.

Update 2:05 p.m. EST: Workers from the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration are protesting outside the San Diego International Airport for an end to the government shutdown, according to a tweet from KGTV-TV reporter Jared Aarons.

 

Update 1:05 p.m. EST: American Airlines has now commented on whether its business is affected by the FAA staffing issues, saying “We haven’t experienced significant impacts to our operation or schedule at this point, but continue to monitor and are working closely with the FAA,” according to a tweet from CBS reporter Kris Van Cleave.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, gate hold and taxi delays are now between an hour to an hour and 15 minutes long, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Update 12:40 p.m. EST: The following pictures from Jacksonville International Airport taken by Cox Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree show several delayed flights departing to locations like Boston and Miami.

A flight information display shows delayed flights on January 25, 2019 at Jacksonville International Airport. The delays were caused by shortages of air traffic controllers at two major Federal Aviation Administration facilities.
Photo: Jamie Dupree/Cox Media Group
A flight information display shows delayed flights on January 25, 2019 at Jacksonville International Airport. The delays were caused by shortages of air traffic controllers at two major Federal Aviation Administration facilities.
Photo: Jamie Dupree/Cox Media Group

Update 12:10 p.m. EST: American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said “flying public is now at risk” as TSA officers struggle to work without pay, according to a statement.

"TSA has long relied on mandatory overtime,” Cox said. “But being forced to work without pay has transformed the situation to one where the safety and security of the flying public is now at risk."

The entire statement can be read at the AFGE website here.

Airlines are commenting on whether their flights are being impacted. Delta Air Lines had 200 flight delays at LaGuardia Airport and other airports, and is trying to "reaccommodate customers to their destinations,’ tweeted CNBC reporter Leslie Josephs.

United Airlines said, “At this point, we don’t anticipate significant schedule disruptions, but it is another good illustration of the escalating impact of the government shutdown and the need for the federal government to promptly re-open,” Josephs tweeted.

More airports are reporting delays. Orlando International Airport tweeted it is experiencing delays of up to 30 minutes.

Delays at Newark International Airport are up to 1 hour and 45 minutes, tweeted Politico reporter Jake Sherman. 

Update 11:40 a.m. EST: Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson released the following statement: “This is exactly what AFA and other aviation unions have been warning would happen,” the statement said, in part. “This is anything but a sick out -- it (sic) only about our safety and the air traffic controllers’ absolute commitment to it. Do we have your attention, Congress? Open the government and then get back to the business of democracy to discuss whatever issue you so choose.”

The full statement can be read on the AFA-CWA website here.

 

Update 11:00 a.m. EST: The Federal Aviation Administration released the following statement: “We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two facilities. We are mitigating the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft when needed. The public can monitor air traffic at fly.faa.gov and they should check with airlines for more information.”

 

A map of flight delay information can be found at https://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp.

Dan McCabe with National Air Traffic Controllers Association told WSB-TV that it’s “business as usual” with air traffic controllers at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, however the FAA’s flight delay information map says travelers can expect delays greater than 45 minutes. WSB is reporting live updates on the Atlanta airport here.

Update 10:40 a.m. EST: Several airports are experiencing delays as the Federal Aviation Administration experiences staffing issues.

Delays have been reported at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, LaGuardia Airport in New York, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

FAA officials told NBC News the regional air traffic control centers that are affected are the "en route" centers in Washington, DC, and Jacksonville, Florida, creating a ripple effect to air traffic at airports like LaGuardia, according to a tweet.

Airspace around Washington, DC has reportedly been shut down entirely, according to a tweet from Daily Beast Editor-In-Chief Noah Shactman.

Original report: The Federal Aviation Administration announced it’s halting all incoming flights to LaGuardia airport in New York City due to a shortage of air traffic controllers.

The order came before 10 a.m., according to media outlets. Airports have been facing a shortage of Transportation Security Administration workers and air traffic controllers amid the partial government shutdown. Some TSA workers are expected to receive a partial paycheck Friday.

Other airports impacted by staffing shortages include Reagan National Airport (DCA), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

 

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