How flight delays in the Northeast are affecting DFW Airport

Ann Santiago
January 26, 2019

The situation is similar in Montreal, where 10 flights, primarily those heading to LaGuardia, were delayed.

"The shutdown hadn't affected me until now", the management consultant from Ann Arbor, Mich., tweeted.

Shetty tried to shrug it off.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined the chorus highlighting the flight delays, asking, "Do you understand the economic [and] social impact of grounding flights because two people are insisting on a project now that the majority of Americans oppose?"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump has been briefed on Friday morning's delays.

As of Friday morning, the staffing issues are occurring at the Washington ARTCC (Air Route Traffic Control Center) and at the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center, both of which are facilities that control aircraft while they're flying at high altitudes between airports.

Air traffic controllers (ATCs), whose numbers were already at a 30-year low, have been working without pay for 35 days, because of the partial government shutdown.

Union President Paul Rinaldi said Friday that the union does not condone a coordinated action that would reduce the capacity of the nation's airspace. "This is getting worse and worse", the official said.

"We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown", leaders of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Air Line Pilots Association and Association of Flight Attendants said.

"They [the traffic controllers] are making them because they're stressed out, because they don't know when this is going to end and they're distracted", Trish Gilbert, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said Thursday on PBS NewsHour.

Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump dismissed the struggles families are going through as just "a little bit of pain", adding, "this is so much bigger than any one person". "These TSA officers and air traffic controllers are absolute heroes. It's starting to happen", said Chuck Banks, an FAA safety inspector in Florida.

She said she was watching the news on TV at the airport, and "that's how we found out".

Sara Nelson, president of the flight attendants' union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, released a statement supporting the ATCs. However, Friday marked the second missed paycheck in a row for federal employees, including controllers, who work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Airlines reacted cautiously to Friday's disruptions, trying to avoid alarming their customers.

"This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 26 minutes".

The federal aviation authority (FAA) says the delay is only temporary, to deal with the problem.

The record-setting federal government shutdown is beginning to take its toll on the nation's airports - and Newark's is no exception.

But even congressional Republicans are floating the idea of an illegal TSA strike as a potential shutdown-ender.

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