FAA halts flights in to LaGuardia due to ATC staffing

The Federal Aviation Administration is halting some flights into New York’s LaGuardia airport due to ATC staffing shortages at the Washington area control centre caused by the ongoing government shutdown.

The stop was ordered shortly before 10 am with flights at other East Coast airports such as Washington’s Reagan National, Newark Liberty International and Philadelphia International also delayed.

On Wednesday, unions representing aviation workers—including air traffic controllers, pilots, and flight attendants—released a statement warning that the ongoing government shutdown, now in its 35th day, poses serious safety risks for both its members and for the travelling public.

“It is unprecedented,” said the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA of the current situation. “This is already the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and there is no end in sight. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break.”

The government has been shut down for over a month as President Donald Trump attempts to push Democrats to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border.