LaGuardia Airport flights delayed on Friday morning due to air traffic control staffing shortages

By Kate Smith

/ CBS News

Flight delays from air traffic controller shortage

Flights in and out New York City's LaGuardia airport were delayed on Friday morning due to staffing shortages among air traffic controllers, according to a notice issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Due to staffing issues at two FAA facilities — Washington, D.C. and Jacksonville, Florida — a ground stop was issued for LaGuardia airport, according to the FAA. The means that certain flights bound for the New York City airport were held and air traffic controllers slowed departures leaving from the airport.

Air traffic controllers have been forced to work without pay since the government partially shutdown on December 22. On Friday, around 800,000 federal employees, including air traffic controllers, missed their second paycheck.

There was a "slight increase in sick leave at two facilities," an FAA spokesperson told CBS News via email on Friday morning. To make up for the staffing shortages, the FAA is "augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic and increasing spacing between aircraft when needed."

The FAA says that flying is still safe for passengers despite the staffing shortages. "The public can be assured that our nation's airport system is safe," the FAA tweeted on Friday morning.

This is developing story

First published on January 25, 2019

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