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LaGuardia Shuts Due to Staff Shortage Triggered By Shutdown

Operations into and out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) were briefly halted just before 10 a.m. on Friday. The stoppage was caused by the shutdown of the United States government. Flights have now resumed, but there are still residual delays at the facility and delays at Newark and Philadelphia.

Flights into and out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) were briefly stopped just before 10 a.m. local time on Friday morning due to staff shortages caused by the shutdown of the U.S. government, the BBC reports. While operations at LGA resumed within 45 minutes, the outlet reports that this short stoppage has caused considerable delays to air traffic at the facility.

In a statement on Twitter, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) appeared to acknowledge the incident at LGA and referenced the delays also being experienced in relation to the shutdown at Newark and Philadelphia.

Many federal employees – including security staff and air traffic controllers – have been working without pay for 35 days.

“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two facilities. We are mitigating the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft where needed,” it stated, advising passengers to continue to monitor latest air traffic levels at fly.faa.gov.

While a deal to end the federal stoppage may finally be on the horizon, the shutdown has had a deep impact on the U.S. aviation industry.

In a statement on Friday, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) said, “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,” she added.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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