FAA: [Ground Stop Issued] Flights Delayed in New York and Florida Due To Air Traffic Control Absences

Major Flight delays due to air traffic control team absences are crippling the nations air travel according to the FAA.

According to ABC News, A ground stop at LaGuardia Airport and widespread flight delays in New York and Florida airports Friday were due to air traffic controller absences, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

A FAA Spokesman told ABC news that The current slowdown in the airspace over Florida and New York is due to staffing shortages in Washington and Jacksonville also indicating The most critical staffing shortage is the Washington shortage, which affects New York airspace in terms of incoming and outgoing flights.

The ground stop early Friday meant that flights could not fly into the Queens, New York City, airport, FAA said. The ground stop has since been lifted.

Air traffic controllers (ATCs), whose numbers were already at a 30-year low, have been working without pay for 35 days, because of the partial government shutdown.

“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 earlier on Friday.

“The president has been briefed and we are monitoring the ongoing delays at some airports. We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

Sara Nelson, president of the flight attendants’ union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, released a statement supporting the ATCs.

“The aviation system depends on the safety professionals who make it run. They have been doing unbelievably heroic work even as they are betrayed by the government that employs them. They are fatigued, worried, and distracted – but they won’t risk our safety. So the planes will stay on the ground,” Nelson said in the statement.

“This is anything but a sick out – it is only about our safety and the air traffic controllers’ absolute commitment to it,” Nelson added. -Read More

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