Security lines stretched into the domestic terminal atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson on Friday afternoon.

Air traffic controller shortage delays some flights, including in Atlanta

Security lines at Hartsfield-Jackson were up to 45 minutes long early Friday afternoon

An air traffic controller shortage delayed some flights in Atlanta and temporarily halted incoming flights at New York LaGuardia Airport Friday amid the partial federal government shutdown.

At Hartsfield-Jackson, the Federal Aviation Administration’s website showed departure delays due to staffing issues at its Jacksonville Center facility. At mid-day the site showed gate hold and taxi delays an hour to an hour and 15 minutes long.

Transportation Security Administration officers have also been affected by the shutdown, and security lines at Hartsfield-Jackson stretched into the domestic terminal atrium early Friday afternoon with waits up to 45 minutes long.

A ground stop at LaGuardia temporarily halted incoming flights Friday morning. Staffing issues were also affecting airports in Newark and Philadelphia.

While the FAA’s Atlanta Center handles traffic in this region, the increase in controller sick leave was affecting other FAA facilities around the country, including in the Northeast and at the Jacksonville Center, which handles flights as they pass through that region.

“We’ve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft when needed,” an FAA spokesperson said in a written statement.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.

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