ATC Staff Shortage Prompts Delays at LaGuardia, Northeast Airports

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun delaying inbound and outbound flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Friday, amid air traffic control staff shortages resulting from the ongoing government shutdown.

“Due to OTHER / ZDC + ZJX STAFFING and OTHER / STAFFING, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving at La Guardia Airport, New York, NY (LGA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 41 minutes,” the FAA website stated Friday morning.

#FAA Statement: Staffing Update pic.twitter.com/CMVcyTNSz5

According to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, more than 200 flights flying into or out of LaGuardia were delayed as of 11 a.m. ET. Nearby Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport were also experiencing dozens of delays as of late Friday morning.

This comes on the heels of several airline executives’ and industry experts’ warnings about the long-term impact of the shutdown.

“The FAA halt of flights into LaGuardia confirms rising risks for U.S. airlines’ 1Q results. Flight and security delays will reduce demand for air travel, and that’s going to require discounts to attract passengers. Profit and margin pain will follow,” said Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Aviation Analyst George Ferguson.

Multiple airlines have stated they’ve lost millions of dollars in potential revenue since the shutdown began last month and significant callouts of unpaid TSA agents have led to longer screening lines at airports across the country.

Travelers are encouraged to check their flight status with their airline prior to arriving at the airport.

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