Philadelphia (WPVI) –
Politicians failed to overcome their differences and put an end to the government's closure for five weeks. Six of the air traffic controllers could do it in one day.
Six of the 13 controllers who usually serve a critical air traffic center in Virginia did not come to work on Friday. This center deals with air traffic in and out of the Atlantic Ocean and the New York area. New York City's LaGardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport were particularly affected, and delays were torn out – about 3000 late flights until mid-afternoon.
At that time, President Donald Trump went to the Department of the Rose Garden and announced that the deal would be completed ̵
Even before Friday, closing was a source of growing concern for passengers and airlines. The percentage of absenteeism among airport monitors has reached 10% last weekend, which means longer lines. Some government workers and contractors were grounded, with Delta Air Lines spending up to $ 25 million and Southwest Airlines to $ 15 million in lost revenue.
"It's madness," said Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelley yesterday. "It just has to end … it will harm the economy, it will hurt the air transport."
The deal between Trump and Democrats in Congress was met with relief in the tourism industry.
Roger Dow, president of the American Tourist Association's Commerce Group, said he hoped the deal would put an end to the further flight disruption that "would undoubtedly start generating economic damage across the country."
The leaders of the alliance are pilots and hostesses – who warned two days earlier that closure could raise the issue of safety – praised the end of the closure.
Those who represent the affected workers soften their enthusiasm because the deal only supports the government until February 15th, while Trump and Democrats are negotiating on the President's request to finance the border walls.
"While the government is postponing a delay again, I will not celebrate a temporary suspension of a politically motivated crisis that has left federal officials afraid of paying their bills, feeding their families, and keeping a roof over their heads," said David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Civil Servants, who represents agents at the airports hired by the Transport Security Administration
The delays of the flights that started off the East Coast became the main and Friday's news – the clearest sign of the impact of the closure on the lives of millions of Americans traveling every week.
A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said there was "a slight increase in sick leave" at the control centers in Virginia and Florida, and that the FAA has adapted to meet available staff by, inter alia, rerouting flights and placing more space between airplanes in the air.
Trump was informed of the situation on Friday morning. "The President has been informed and we are watching the continuing delays of some airports," said White House spokesman Sarah Sanders. "We are in regular contact with officials in the Ministry of Transport and the FAA."
In Laguardia, passengers learned about delayed flight messages from security systems.
"Closing strikes at home, finally," said Sanjay Shetty. management consultant from Ann Arbor, Michigan, waiting for a delayed flight to Detroit.
Shetty tried to repel her. "I travel every week and nothing surprised me."
К. Jared Wright's flight from La Guardia to Palm Beach, Florida, had to stop in Atlanta because the plane burned so much fuel during the one-hour waiting to take off.
He also took it.
"People are dealing with significantly worse things during this time, so I think I'm happy and I hope federal officials get paid for what they need and deserve," Wright said.
At the time of closure caused by a deadlock over Trump's request for $ 5.7 billion to build part of a barrier on the border with Mexico, some 420,000 civil servants, including TSA air traffic controllers and agents, work unpaidly ;
They will be paid – soon, Trump promised – but in the meantime many describe the financial difficulties, rely on food banks and worry about whether they can pay the rent or the mortgage.
Controllers have reached the point of exhaustion, stress and anxiety caused by this exclusion, "said Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Control Association.
While Friday's focus was on air traffic controllers, TSA said that 7.6% of its screening airports scheduled to work on Thursday did not show up. This is less than the peak of last Sunday of 10%, but more than twice the 3% absence from the same day last year.
TSA transfers agents to airports where there is a shortage and sometimes consolidation of checkpoints to prevent too long lines.
Airlines have responded cautiously to interruptions, trying to avoid the concerns of their customers.
In a statement Friday morning, a spokesman for United Airlines said the carrier is working with FAAs and airports to minimize impact on flights and passengers.
"We do not expect significant disruption at this stage, but that's another good illustration of the growing impact of government closure and the need for the federal government to reopen immediately," the US statement said. —–
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