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Major U.S. Airports Face Staffing Shortages and Delays Amid Government Shutdown

The shutdown's effect on aviation is taking hold.
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Two major airports on the East Coast—New Jersey's Newark International and New York City's LaGuardia Airport—are experiencing critical staffing shortages that are affecting incoming and outbound flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

Philadelphia International Airport was said to be experiencing significant delays for the same reasons, but the airport's status changed shortly afterward with only 15-minute delays currently reported, per the FAA's website.

On Friday, both CNBC and Bloomberg Deputy White House Editor Mike Dorning tweeted that LaGuardia, one of two major airports serving New York City, was halting incoming flights at the FAA's order, although neither the airport or the FAA has confirmed the news or provided comment.

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All three airports are reporting average delays of around 41 minutes as of Friday morning, and all three are citing "staffing shortages" as the main issue hampering timely departures.

The staffing shortages come as the government has been shutdown for over a month, with 800,000 federal workers receiving their second paycheck for $0 on Friday since the freeze went into effect.

The FAA issued a statement on Friday morning, confirming that staffing shortages at two airports are due to a high number of employees calling out sick. Air traffic is being rerouted with greater spacing between planes, the agency said:

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LaGuardia Airport is undergoing a ground delay, per the FAA's tracking tool. So far the airport hasn't provided comment on the issue, or tweeted out any information of its own. Other sources suggest that the airport isn't closed and that flights are arriving and departing, albeit at a slower pace than usual:

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Federal workers—chiefly within the aviation industry—calling out sick has been a recurring theme since the government closed its doors. The impasse stems from a disagreement between president Trump and Congress concerning the GOP's plan for a $5 billion wall on the southern border with Mexico.

This story is developing.

From: Popular Mechanics

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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