Some of the country's busiest terminals have been hit by air traffic control and security staff shortages as unpaid workers call in sick.
Most the airports that are shut or facing delays are on the east coast and including JFK and Atlanta.
That decision to close was made by the Federal Aviation Administration, with Trump has insisted he will not reopen the US government until Democrats agree to back funding demands for his $5.7billion southern border barrier.
The flight chaos comes as the partial government shutdown has entered its 35th day.
A shortage of workers at an ATC facility in the Washington area prompted the agency to order a ground stop at LaGuardia, one of the country’s busiest transportation hubs.
UNPAID WORKERS ARE CALLING IN SICK
Flights at other East Coast airports also were delayed, including at Washington’s Reagan National and Philadelphia International, according to Bloomberg News.
A staffing shortage also was reported at a facility overseeing air traffic in Jacksonville, Florida, according to an FAA website.
The disruptions come a day after airline executives warned about the shutdown’s risk to the aviation system.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said the situation was reaching a “tipping point.”
Air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants have also issued a warning about the safety of air passengers and calling for the White House and Congress to find a solution.
“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. It is unprecedented,” the unions for all three groups said in a statement this week.
Controllers, TSA agents, air marshals and other law enforcement personnel have all been caught up in the impasse, leaving airports understaffed and raising concerns about the safety of the nation’s aviation system, according to the joint statement from National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi, Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson.
More to follow…
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