Flights delayed at Newark, LaGuardia, Philly airports from 'sick leave' staffing shortage

Dave Mc Leod tapes off trim as he prepares to paint a wall near a gate in the new passenger terminal at Paine Field in Everett. Alaska Airlines says it will delay the start of commercial passenger service at the new terminal by at least three weeks due

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights into New York's LaGuardia Airport on Friday due to a staffing shortage during the government shutdown, Bloomberg reports.

CLEVELAND- Two unions picketed at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Friday morning.

The FAA said that a Traffic Management Program (ground stop) was in effect for traffic arriving at New York City's LaGuardia Airport and that inbound flights were delayed an average of 41 minutes. Then the White House saw it play out in real time Friday morning with air traffic control staffing issues causing massive delays in several northeastern airports.

"We've mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed", the FAA said.

The result was "minimal impacts to efficiency" while maintaining safety, Martin said.

A day before, airline executives warned that the shutdown was pushing aviation to "tipping point".

This is breaking story, check back for updates.

President Donald Trump announced Friday a short-term deal to reopen the government for three weeks as intensifying delays at the nation's airports and widespread disruptions brought new urgency to efforts to resolve the standoff.

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Since airline workers are considered essential, they will continue to work without pay until the shutdown can end.

Fliers can check delays at fly.faa.gov and they should check with airline carriers for more information.

The longest in USA history, the 35-day US federal government partial shutdown left thousands of air traffic controllers, transportation security officers, safety inspectors, air marshals, and other essential workers on the job without pay for more than a month. "We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. The head of the United States air traffic controllers' union complained that air traffic controllers are making mistakes which they haven't made in decades - all because of the stressful situation provoked by the shutdown. TSA would not reveal callout rates for individual airports.

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport had the second-longest wait time, of 19 minutes.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association's (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi issued a statement on Friday saying the union does not endorse coordinated absences.

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.

Mary Campbell Jenkins said she was aboard a plane Friday on a tarmac in NY when the pilot announced that connecting flight information was limited "due to a ground stop here at LaGuardia due to the government shutdown".

Air traffic controller staffing nationwide also already had been a key FAA consideration. "We remind customers to check their flight's status. before going to the airport", Mr. Fitzpatrick said by e-mail.

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