Staff shortages caused ground stop at New York’s LaGuardia Airport

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Departures from New York’s LaGuardia Airport were called off for about an hour Friday morning, due to a large number of sick calls, according to the FAA.

WNBC-TV in New York reports that just before 10:00 A.M., a ground stop was ordered, preventing flights from departing the airport. There were also some delays in flight arrivals to the airport, which is located in the borough of Queens.

Sanjay Shetty was waiting at LaGuardia to board a flight to Detroit when he heard an announcement about a ground stop due to a “staff shortage” around 10:15 a.m. He said he and other passengers eventually started boarding at 10:50 a.m. — the plane’s scheduled departure time. It wasn’t clear when they would get off the ground.

“The shutdown hadn’t affected me until now,” the management consultant from Ann Arbor, Michigan, tweeted.

The ground stop was lifted at around 10:45 A.M., but residual delays are expected.

There have been increases in sick calls across the country since the beginning of the partial government shutdown, as TSA workers and air traffic controllers have not been getting paid. Friday marks the second scheduled payday that will be missed by federal workers.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a letter to Trump earlier Friday saying the shutdown is impacting safety and security at airports and putting travelers at risk.

FAA spokesman Gregory Martin said Friday that it had augmented staffing, rerouted traffic and increased spacing between planes as needed.

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