Air travel delays, safety concerns intensify as shutdown continues

by The Black Wall Street Times
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By: Nate Morris, senior editor

News broke Friday morning that delays of over an hour were spreading in airports throughout the northeast as TSA officers, who have been forced to work without pay for over a month now, begin to take sick leave en masse.

“As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources,” the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) said in a public statement. “We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed.”

Travelers moving into and out of LaGuardia Airport in New York, Newark International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport are the latest to feel the burden of the staffing shortage.

Earlier in the month, Miami International Airport officials reported that they were forced to decrease operating hours at one of their terminals due to the strain experienced from increased sick-leave usage.

The shutdown, now poised to enter week six, is increasingly threatening the financial security and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

While Democrats in the House and a bi-partisan group of eighteen Senators lead by Lindsay Graham (R-SC) continue their fervent work to find a solution, the president remains obstinately unmoved in his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall.

As the longest shutdown in US History continues, air traffic control union advocates warn of “major safety risks” as air traffic control workers make “routine mistakes” due to the mounting stress on them and their families caused by the shutdown.

20621103_10156585096989129_7583201440508056449_nNate Morris is the senior editor of the Black Wall Street Times.  Nate was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area and moved to Tulsa in 2012 after graduating from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.  He received his Master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2015.  Nate is a Teach for America alumnus and has worked in schools throughout the Tulsa area.


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