Most Flights Resume After Coronavirus Causes Air-Traffic Control Staffing Issues

By Paul Riegler on 21 March 2020
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Delta’s control tower at JFK

Flights to the Northeast resumed after a brief ground stop after an air-traffic controller trainee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“The FAA is working with local health officials and employee representatives to determine how many personnel might have interacted with the trainee in recent days,” the FAA said regarding the New York case.

The issue impacted flights into the New York metropolitan area as well as into Philadelphia.

The trainee was last at the air-traffic control center on Long Island on March 17, and the center is now operational.  The agency is working to sanitize and clean any areas that may have been affected.

At press time, a ground stop is still in effect for John F. Kennedy International Airport according to the official FAA Flight Delay Information website, although it is not clear if this is related to the issue with the trainee.

Due to other / other, there is a Traffic Management Program in effect for traffic arriving John F Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY (JFK).

This is not the first instance where the coronavirus has impacted air-traffic control. Earlier this week, the outbreak forced the agency to shift to backup facilities after coronavirus cases were discovered at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport and at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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