LOS ANGELES – With staffing shortages among air-traffic controllers at some East Coast airports prompting delays, passengers traveling out of Los Angeles International Airport are being urged to check the status of their flights.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary ground stop Friday morning at New York’s LaGuardia Airport due to staffing shortages in light of the federal government shutdown. The ground stop led to a ripple-effect of delays at other airports, most notably on the East Coast in cities such as Philadelphia, Newark and Tampa.
LAX officials said Friday morning “no operational impacts are anticipated” at the airport due to the government shutdown — including passenger-screening services by the Transportation Security Administration, security by Customs and Border Protection and traffic-control by the FAA.
However, “due to airport operational impacts on the East Coast,” LAX officials recommended that “all travelers check with their airlines to confirm the status of their flights.”
The FAA issued a statement Friday morning conceding there had been “a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida.”
“We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed,” according to the FAA. “The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system.”
During the government shutdown, there have also been increased numbers of TSA security screeners — who have been working without pay during the government shutdown — calling in sick at select airports. LAX has largely remained unaffected by the issue. According to airport officials, the maximum standard wait time at LAX security stations was 20 minutes.