The Federal Aviation Administration has temporarily ceased operations at LaGuardia Airport (Queens, New York), due to the shortage of personnel in the control towers. A decision that only increases the pressure on US President Donald Trump and legislators to put an end to their fight for government funding.
Their lack of agreement has not only led to the “temporary closure” of a quarter of the agencies and departments of the administration, but 800,000 officials remain without pay for the duration of their confrontation. Of these, 420,000, including airport staff, have to work unpaid to perform essential functions for the security of the United States.
The shortage of air traffic control workers in the Washington area, who called to notify that they were ill, caused the cessation of landings at LaGuardia, one of the busiest airports in the United States. This temporary stoppage also affected Newark International (New Jersey) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), which receive thousands of daily passengers from European countries, including Spain.
Meanwhile, in Jacksonville and Tampa (Florida), delays were also experienced due to lack of personnel. Since the first days of the “blackout”, the longest in the history of the USA, which today marks its 36th day, the airport staff began to be absent. The lack of controllers yesterday not only coincided with the delivery of the second check with no funds since the beginning of the “blackout” but with the warnings to Washington of the union leaders and the heads of the United States airlines.
“Somebody has to work,” these days the Customs agents answered the passengers when they thanked them for having gone to work at the JFK despite not charging. “If we do not come, how are you going to happen?” They ask.
At the moment, from the Federal Aviation Administration, it was decided to mitigate the impact on passengers with the diversion of flights to other airports, delays in schedules and cancellations. A decision they justified to compensate for the lack of air traffic controllers.
From the White House, the president’s spokesperson, Sarak Huckabee Sanders, merely confirmed that the president had been informed of the situation. “We are aware of the delays”, he said in a written statement. “We are in contact with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration,” he said after the decision in LaGuardia, which occurred after the previous day the Senate, with a Republican majority, rejected two proposals to reopen the government.
After the cessation of the operations of this airport, the leader of the Democratic minority of the Upper House, Chuck Schumer, senator from New York, acknowledged that “McConnell (leader of the Republican majority in the Senate) and I have had a good conversation. ” “We are going to make everyone work hard to solve it,” he emphasized with words that are empty for officials who have been unpaid for more than a month.