Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Air transport workers warn shutdown could cause U.S. aviation collapse

Air transport workers warn shutdown could cause U.S. aviation collapse

FAA spokesman Gregory Martin said Friday that it had augmented staffing, rerouted traffic and increased spacing between planes as needed.

Staffing issues at air traffic control centers around Washington and Jacksonville, Florida, causeddelays across the Northeast, an official with knowledge of the situation told CNN. He said safety is being maintained during a period of "minimal impacts" on travel.

The White House says President Donald Trump has briefed on airport delays amid the extended partial government shutdown.

With the government temporarily reopening, it would appear they do.

"I'm grateful to those in Congress who repeatedly crossed party lines to support this bipartisan solution and end the shutdown, and I hope that spirit of bipartisanship continues over the next three weeks as we negotiate on the most effective ways to secure the border". The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) had briefly halted flights entirely at LaGuardia, one of the busiest airports in the United States, Friday morning, although that notice has now been lifted. "As we have seen over the past 35 days, the pressures and strains of a shutdown are not sustainable".

If you are coming to the airport to catch a flight or to pick someone up, you're asked to check the flight status first.

"In our risk averse industry, we can not even calculate the level of risk now at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break", the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Air Line Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said in a joint release.

The situation is similar in Montreal, where 10 flights, primarily those heading to LaGuardia, were delayed. Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said the air safety system would "unravel" and predicted the issue to spread to other airports on Friday morning. More than 800,000 employees are have been caught in the crossfire, including Transportation Security Administration workers, some of the lowest paid government workers. The agency says that many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations. "So if we have to slow things down and things take a little longer, that's what we're going to do".

Flights from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to LaGuardia are delayed.

Another traveler, Alberto Moreno of Portland, was headed to Miami, with a layover in Philadelphia."I live here, but I don't fly too much", he said. Some flights arriving at the airport have been delayed. We want to make sure that they can focus on their jobs.

The agency has dispatched extra screeners to airports in Atlanta, LaGuardia Airport in NY, and Newark, New Jersey.

The unions - which represent almost 20,000 air traffic controllers, 61,000 pilots and just under 50,000 flight attendants - said the temporary shuttering of airport screening checkpoints is likely to continue.

CBS News reports that departures at LaGuardia are likely to be delayed all day.

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