US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has halted all incoming flights to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport amid air traffic controller shortages. According to FAA, the staff shortages issue arises from the ongoing federal government shutdown.
The order to halt flights was issued around 10:00am EST. Some flights arriving at the airport have been delayed.
The move came as the US government shutdown entered its 35th day, now the longest in US history.
The shutdown has resulted in government employees’ pay being delayed. So far, two paychecks in a row have been missed. The situation has prompted Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers to call in sick in larger numbers than usual, provoking security issues at airports.
The unions representing aviation workers released a statement on Wednesday warning that the shutdown could pose serious safety risks for its members and travelers. “In our risk-averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break,” the statement read.