Flights to LaGuardia delayed due to air traffic control staff shortage

The Federal Aviation Administration delayed some flights at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Friday morning as air traffic control grappled with a staff shortage issue amid the continuing government shutdown.

The agency said on its website that flights are being delayed more than 40 minutes, and urged travelers to check the site to see if they are affected.

Other airports in the Northeast, including Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Philadelphia International Airport, were also experiencing delays, according to FlightAware. Departure delays at Newark’s airport is between 30 and 44 minutes due to an air traffic control program, FlightAware said in a message on its website.

"We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida," according to a statement from the FAA. "As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources. We've mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed. The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system."

Calls to the air traffic controllers union were not immediately returned.

The news comes as the partial government shutdown hit day 35, the longest shutdown in history.

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