Controller Staffing Shortage Causes Ground Stop

Dave Mc Leod tapes off trim as he prepares to paint a wall near a gate in the new passenger terminal at Paine Field in Everett. Alaska Airlines says it will delay the start of commercial passenger service at the new terminal by at least three weeks due

Controllers prioritize safety, they said, and can only handle so much traffic at one time. "Nothing else matters except safety", Rinaldi said.

The union has repeated the call for Congress and the White House to take the necessary steps to end the shutdown immediately.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter that the shutdown is "pushing our airspace to the breaking point".

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says delays at East Coast airports amid a partial federal government shutdown are another symptom of the "federal madness" caused by Republican President Donald Trump.

Sanjay Shetty was waiting at LaGuardia to board a flight to Detroit when he heard an announcement about a ground stop due to a "staff shortage" around 10:15 a.m. Transportation Security Agency (TSA) employees are also working overtime without pay, and many have called in sick during the shutdown so that they can work other jobs.

Unscheduled absences at two Federal Aviation Administration facilities forced air traffic controllers to halt certain flights into LaGuardia and slow departures from the airport on Friday morning.

Bloomberg's Conor Sen argued that the flight stoppage and delays shows that "we've finally hit a pain point in the government shutdown that will bring about either legislation to end the shutdown or a crisis that impacts far more than the federal employees who have so far borne the brunt of the shutdown". President Trump and Congressional Democrats are still at stalemate over billions of dollars in funding for a wall along the USA border with Mexico, a key campaign promise. "We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA", she said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. What will happen is, [even] if our safety and security is not impacted-and I hope and pray every moment that is not the case-we will see a slowdown in capacity of the aviation industry. They have been doing unbelievably heroic work even as they are betrayed by the government that employs them. Our safety professionals from @NATCA are tired, worried, and distracted. "So the planes will stay on the ground", Nelson said in the statement.

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"As union leaders, we find it unconscionable that aviation professionals are being asked to work without pay and in an air safety environment that is deteriorating by the day".

On Thursday, three major US airlines - American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) and JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) - said the impact of the shutdown on their business had so far been limited but was nearing a tipping point.

Air travel is not at a peak at present, but the next major holiday is President's Day weekend in mid-February, usually one of the most popular travel times of the year.

In a statement, a United Airlines spokesman said the carrier was working with the FAA and airports to minimize the impact on flights and travelers.

DELAYED: Flight 4001 from Cleveland to NY 8:40 10:45 a.m.

"They did not give a reason at all", Rizzuti said.

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