Experiencing An Increase In The Number Of COVID-19 Cases In Air Traffic Facilities

Like much of the country, the FAA is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases at air traffic facilities and other offices across the nation. Despite the challenges, the agency says its commitment to safety will not waver.

The air traffic system is resilient and flexible. Every air traffic control facility in the country has a contingency plan to keep air traffic moving safely when events impede normal operations. In some cases, this means transferring duties to adjacent facilities.

Air traffic controllers, technicians and safety inspectors are highly trained professionals who play critical roles in safely and efficiently moving tens of thousands of aircraft and millions of passengers — 24 hours a day, every day.

“Our agency’s mission is to operate the world’s largest and most complex airspace system. But we have an equal obligation to ensure the health and safety of our employees,” the FAA said in a statement posted on its website.

“Each disruption has a distinct impact on the air traffic system. We are experiencing this at the handful of facilities already affected by COVID-19. This is frustrating and inconvenient, but is necessary in the interest of safety.

“We will do our best to keep the public abreast of a rapidly changing situation. Passengers can check fly.faa.gov for real-time updates about how the air traffic system is performing.

“We appreciate the public’s support and patience.”

Over the weekend, the FAA put a ground stop in place for all flights arriving at New York area airports due to a positive test of an Air Traffic Control trainee at the New York Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, NY for the COVID-19 virus. The trainee had not been in the facility since March 17, according to a Tweet from the agency. The center was sanitized and the ground stip was lifted later Saturday, according to the agency.

FMI: www.faa.gov