New York Gov. Cuomo Says Shutdown Puts Air Travelers At Risk | KERA News

New York Gov. Cuomo Says Shutdown Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Jan 25, 2019

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the federal government shutdown is impacting safety and security at airports and putting travelers at risk.

The Democrat wrote to Republican President Donald Trump on Friday demanding that he reopen government immediately. 

He said the partial shutdown is reducing staffing for Transportation Security Administration workers as well as air traffic controllers. He noted an increase in the number of TSA workers calling in absent, and said many air traffic controllers are working extra shifts without pay.

Cuomo's letter was announced shortly before the FAA announced LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were both experiencing delays in takeoffs due to staffing problems at two East Coast air traffic control facilities.

The Federal Aviation Administration is reporting delays in air travel because of a "slight increase in sick leave" at two East Coast air traffic control facilities.

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

The staffing problems were at air traffic centers in Jacksonville, Florida and a Washington D.C. center that controls high-altitude air traffic over seven states.

Martin says safety is being maintained during a period of "minimal impacts" on travel. LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were both experiencing delays in takeoffs.