LaGuardia Airport Has Flights Stopped During Shutdown

A TSA agent center directs passengers through a security checkpoint at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The strain of a 34-day partial government shutdown is weighing on the nation’s air-travel system

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Flights into LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International and Philadelphia International airports were delayed Friday morning by an average of 41 minutes, according to the FAA.

"We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two facilities", a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

LaGuardia has not commented on stopping incoming flights.

The FAA, which urged travellers to check with airlines about possible flight delays, said it was managing the impact by calling in staff, rerouting traffic and allowing more space between flight departures.

The White House was concerned about the economic impact of a significant disruption within the national airspace system, including the commerce it supports, the source said.

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As Common Dreams reported, air traffic controllers, pilots, and flight attendants warned on Wednesday that flight safety is "deteriorating by the day" as public employees tasked with securing the nation's air travel system have been forced to work without pay for weeks.

Flights departing for LaGuardia on Friday afternoon are delayed by as long as 90 minutes, according to aviation website FlightAware.com.

Even worse, the union says that many workers have taken to sleeping in their cars between shifts because they can't afford the gas to return home.

Lawmakers in the United States may have reached a short-term deal to re-open the government, but Canadians heading south of the border are still feeling the effects of the government shutdown, as flights are being delayed or cancelled because of staffing issues at US airports.

Bloomberg reports that neither the FAA nor the National Air Traffic Controllers union has directly attributed the delays to the shutdown, which is now the longest in history.

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Meanwhile, Kerlik says the airport operations team is making plans for this weekend should more flights be impacted by the shutdown.

The stark portrayal presented to the White House of a prolonged shutdown coupled with a shortage of Transportation Safety Administration officers and Friday's massive delays were a "contributing catalyst" for the agreement ending the shutdown, the source said.

The U.S. government shutdown is hitting the nation's airports. TSA would not to reveal callout rates for individual airports. When is Congress going to get serious about fixing this very serious problem? In the case of air traffic control, about 60 other countries have de-politicized air traffic control, removing this vital function from the government budget by setting it up as a self-supporting corporate entity-generally either a government corporation or a nonprofit, private corporation.

"There are locations where FAA engineers have quit, TSA agents have quit, air traffic controllers have quit". "We are already short-staffed".

She said she was watching the news on TV at the airport, and "that's how we found out".

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United States lawmakers and the White House faced intensifying pressure Friday to resolve a five-week impasse and reopen government, as the political stalemate has begun to affect the nation's busy airports.

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