Airports in NYC and Philadelphia Temporarily Shut Down Over Concerns About Coronavirus Infecting Staff

All New York City-area and Philadelphia-area airports were briefly shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday afternoon over concerns about their staff being infected with the coronavirus.

The shutdown was over an air traffic controller testing positive for coronavirus. The full suspension of flights lasted approximately one hour, but there have been some delays in getting operations at all of the airports back on track.

Jon Ostrower, the Editor in Chief of The Air Current tweeted that at 2:21p.m. New York Center was beginning a “slow process” of reopening.

Flight Radar tweeted a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration saying that an air traffic controller at New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.

“The trainee has not been at the facility since March 17. We have contacted local health authorities and we are developing a plan to quickly sanitize/clean the affected areas. The center remains open and operational. The FAA has initiated traffic management initiatives for sectors closed during the sanitization process. Flights will be rerouted as part of a longstanding contingency plan to ensure continued operations,” the statement said.

On Friday, the air traffic control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City was temporarily closed for cleaning after a technician tested positive for the coronavirus.

The New York Daily News reports that the grounding was expected to be lifted by 3 p.m. although other temporary shut downs could happen in the future, officials said.


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