FAA cancels New York ground delays caused by staffing problems

(CNN) — The Federal Aviation Administration canceled an earlier warning that flights to and from New York City airports could be delayed by up to two hours Monday night due to a shortage of air traffic controllers.

“New York City airspace now has some additional staff, allowing us to cancel ground delays at Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International. Passengers should continue to check Fly.faa.gov and their airline.”

Earlier in the day, the FAA said flights could be delayed by up to two hours due to staffing issues.

“Departure and arrival delays could reach two hours tonight at John F. Kennedy International, New York LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports,” the FAA said in a statement.

A publicly available FAA advisory showed staffing problems at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, an air traffic control facility 80 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island. The FAA advisory said delays were expected from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

Airlines have pointed to air traffic controller staffing problems as the reason for massive flight cancellations this summer, although the FAA claims most of the delays are attributable to the airlines.

According to FlightAware data, 48,000 U.S. flights were canceled between May 27, the Friday before Memorial Day, and August 14. That figure represents 2.3% of scheduled flights.

Nearly 483,000 U.S. flights were delayed during that period, or about 24% of flights.

Bad weather has exacerbated other operational challenges this summer.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a CNN interview last week that while the weather disrupted air traffic over the weekend, “it shouldn’t have created the kind of ripple effects through the system that it did.

“That to me is an indication that we still haven’t seen the improvements we need, that the system is very fragile,” Buttigieg said on CNN’s New Day last week.

This story has been updated with information about canceling the ground delays.

Top image: Travelers wait for flights at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on July 1, 2022. (Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

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