New York ATC center temporarily closed, ground stop for airports

Tower at JFK Airport
JFK Airport Tower. Photo: © Eheik

Flights to and from the New York Center (ZNY) Air Traffic Control area were briefly stopped on Saturday, the FAA confirmed. The airports in this affected region include all three mayor airports of New York, Philadelphia, as well as Oceanic sectors.

The initial notice by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said this is due to ‘staffing issues’.

In a statement, the FAA later confirmed that the temporary ground stops came after a controller and trainee tested positive for Covid-19 (Coronavirus). This caused two controller areas to close for sanitizing and duties transferred to alternate facilities.

At around 03:30 PM (EDT), the ground stop for JFK Airport was lifted and New York Center is resuming operations.

It was later announced that the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) will close between 11:30 pm and 6:30 am for cleaning. Additionally, La Guardia Airport’s tower will be closed from 11 pm to 6 am for the same reason. “During that timeframe, other air traffic facilities will provide key services“, the FAA said.

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