Published: Sun, March 22, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Hundreds of USA flights canceled after air traffic coronavirus cases

Hundreds of USA flights canceled after air traffic coronavirus cases

That meant that the flights normally handled by the controllers in that section of the Ronkonoma center had to be shifted to other air traffic controllers.

Flights bound for major airports - including Newark Liberty International Airport, Laguardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport - have been stopped effective immediately, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The halt was lifted after about 30 minutes. It also affected Philadelphia International Airport.

In a statement, the FAA says the temporary closure and now traffic limitation came after a trainee at New York ARTCC tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19). The agency is working with local health authorities to sanitize and clean affected areas of the facility.

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The FAA said a technician at JFK had tested positive and air traffic controllers had been operating earlier from an alternate location on airport property. "This information is preliminary and subject to change". The FAA attributed the brief closure to "staffing issues".

The trainee works at the FAA's New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, Long Island, which handles high-altitude flights heading to local and those flying over the region to places like Europe.

And the air traffic control tower at Chicago Midway Airport was closed on Tuesday after three FAA technicians tested positive for the coronavirus.

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