Travel Chaos at NYC Airports After FAA Reports ATC Staff Shortage

By Jonathan Spira on 15 August 2022
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JFK Terminal 5 from the air

If you’re flying out of a New York City airport Monday night, steel yourself for significant wait time: The Federal Aviation Administration is warning of hours long delays due to a staffing shortage at air-traffic control centers to manage the flow of airplanes in the region.

“Due to unexpected staff availability tonight, the FAA must reduce the flow of aircraft around New York City to maintain safety,” the agency said in a tweet.

In a statement, the FAA said that  “[D]eparture and arrival delays this evening could approach two hours at John F. Kennedy International, New York LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports,” adding that [P]assengers should prepare for delays, and monitor fly.faa.gov for updates. Please check with your airline for information about specific flights.”

The city’s three major airports – LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, and Newark Liberty International – were reporting a combined 104 flight delays at 6:55 p.m. EDT, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks such information in its aptly-named Misery Map.

The delays were affecting all major airlines including American, Delta, and United, but are more likely to have a direct impact on transatlantic flights that typically depart in the evening.

American Airlines’ website said that JFK “is experiencing delays” although its first evening flights to London’s Heathrow Airport departed on time and were expected to have on-time arrivals as well.  Later flights appeared to be on time as well.

Similarly, Delta’s flights from JFK bound for London were also showing on-time status, as were United’s flights from Newark to London.

[This article was originally published at 5:45 p.m. and updated one hour later with additional information about delays and cancellations.]

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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