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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.