Air traffic control staffing shortages creates delays at LaGuardia Airport in NYC

State News

Flyers are happy to see an agreement is in place to re-open the government on a short-term basis.

Friday, some flights out of Rochester saw delays as LaGuardia Airport in New York City faced staff shortages in air traffic control.

Air traffic control employees were among the workers going without paychecks as the shutdown entered its 35th day.

Travelers at the Greater Rochester International Airport said Friday they have been frustrated with delays, but also very sympathetic to those who are still working without pay.

Delta is the only airline that flies directly to LaGuardia from Rochester and a few of these flights were delayed on Friday.

“I was supposed to be on the 8:00 flight so I’m trying to find standby on an earlier flight because everything’s delayed,” explained Brian Streigold, who was traveling to LaGuardia. “I just left work a little earlier to try and get on these flights to get out of here… just want to go home.”

Brian Streigold is one of many people who experienced the stress of delays. Stacey Weil also had issues. “I’m lucky it was a half hour, it was a short flight, so it didn’t change my day. But certainly the people that are not getting paid, it’s changing their lives.”

Even though staffing in Rochester isn’t a problem like it is at LaGuardia. Air traffic controllers have been working without pay during the shutdown and just missed their second paycheck. Wayne Lucas says this needs to stop.

“I’d like to see this whole thing come to an end as quickly as possible,” opined Lucas. “It seems silly to be honest with you, the government is basically holding a lot of good workers, a lot of families hostage with this unbelievable idiotic behavior.”

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association released a statement earlier saying: “This shutdown has caused a tremendous amount of added stress for [air traffic controllers] on top of what is already a difficult and stressful job.”

And now that the government will be reopening, federal workers are expected to receive pay “quickly” or as soon as possible.

There are still some flights scheduled to LaGuardia Friday. If you have a flight, be sure to check the status online. The airport recommends checking directly on the Delta website for the most up to date information.

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