Flights delayed, including at ILM, as air traffic controller absences mount

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American Airlines jets on the runway at Wilmington International Airport. (Photo: WWAY)
American Airlines jets on the runway at Wilmington International Airport. (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The FAA says absences by air traffic controllers on day 35 of the partial government shutdown is leading to flight delays. A few flights at Wilmington International Airport are among the delays.

“We have experienced a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida. As with severe storms, we will adjust operations to a safe rate to match available controller resources,” FAA spokesman Gregory Martin wrote ABC News in an email.

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The FAA reported a ground stop at New York’s LaGuardia airport due to a staffing issue. That means flights headed for an airport under a ground stop are held at their departure airport. Departures to LaGuardia later resumed, but with delays.

The FAA said Friday that it had augmented staffing, rerouted traffic and increased spacing between planes as needed.


The staffing problems were at air traffic centers in Jacksonville, Florida and a Washington, DC, center that controls high-altitude air traffic over seven states.



A spokeswoman for ILM told WWAY the airport is not seeing impacts, but so far some flights at ILM have been delayed. A scheduled 9:52 a.m. arrival from LaGuardia was delayed until at least 10:56 a.m. A return flight slated to leave at 10:17 a.m. is delayed until at least 11:30 a.m. And afternoon arrival is also listed as delayed.

Check the status of flights at Wilmington International Airport

Stay with WWAY for more on this developing story.