The Federal Aviation Administration was forced to stop flights into New York's LaGuardia Airport this morning because of a shortage of air-traffic control staff.
An increasing number of U.S. government staff members have resorted to calling in sick or not going into work as they come close to their second skipped paycheque due to the government shutdown.
TL;DR Flights to LaGuardia were totally halted today due to an insufficient number of air traffic controllers at the airport. Air traffic controllers are some of the 800,000 government workers who are about to miss their second paycheque due to the U.S. government shutdown that has been ongoing since December 22. These problems will likely persist.
U.S. Citizens: "Something has to be done about this shut down!"— Brushing Off (@BrushingOff) January 25, 2019
Mitch McConnell: "Have you tried unplugging it & then plugging it back in again?"#OyVey #MitchMcConnell #LaGuardia #Airport #Shutdown pic.twitter.com/HxPToLkzAS
The U.S. government went into a shutdown on December 22 due to a stalemate between Trump and the Democrats concerning the southern border wall.
Because the stalemate is in regards to funding, the government is forced to shutdown all "non-essential" governmental functions — and those departments that are considered "essential" are forced to run without funding until a budget can be agreed to.
Government employees that are considered essential are now about to miss their second paycheque due to the shutdown. As a result, many employees are refusing to come to work.
JUST IN: Amid air travel backups stemming from ATC staffing issues at LaGuardia, Delta says about 200 of its flights are delayed throughout the northeast. https://t.co/jzYjmherf9 pic.twitter.com/CXnKuiNVqj— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 25, 2019
The impact of the shutdown was seen this morning when LaGuardia was forced to halt flights due to a shortage of air-traffic controllers.
Without a sufficient number of air-traffic controllers, incoming flights were likely deemed unsafe and sunsequently delayed.
The issue lasted an hour and 22 minutes, according to the Boston Globe.
I reached out to Air Canada regarding the issue, because they do not currently fly to JFK, meaning all Air Canada flights to NYC are to LaGuardia.
Travel Alert – January 25: New York (LGA, EWR). Details, Flight Status & rebook online. Change fees waived: https://t.co/fuCj1d9VMn— Air Canada (@AirCanada) January 25, 2019
Air Canada assured me that passengers are protected against delays and cancellations as a result of, "Air Traffic Control Restrictions," a revision they detail on their site.
We will be updating this article as more information comes out about the impacts of the U.S. shutdown on Canadians.
It is likely that more airports will suffer the same staffing shortages and delays as the government shutdown continues.