The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily ordered a ground stop of all flights at New York area airports (such as JFK, La Guardia, and Newark.) However, the blanket ground stop has now been “lifted.” It only lasted about 30 minutes.
The most recent FAA advisory reads,
EVENT TIME: 21/1815 – 22/0300
***THIS CANCELS/REPLACES ADVZY 068***
ZNY/N90 IS NOW ABLE TO ACCEPT ARRIVALS. KJFK ARRIVALS VIA THE CAMRN
ARRIVAL CONTINUE TO BE STOPPED, BUT ALL OTHER ACFT DESTINED ZNY ARE
It was caused when an air traffic control trainee tested positive at the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, New York.
The alert from the FAA blamed the earlier blanket ground stop of New York air space flights on “staffing issues.” See the FAA’s flight management page here. According to CNBC, “Air traffic into major New York City-area airports was halted” on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Specifically, the order applied to all airports serviced in the ZNY area. “What is ZNY? New York Air Route Traffic Control Center. It controls a small chunk of domestic airspace and a massive chunk of oceanic airspace. Six areas, A through F, with A through D being domestic and E and F being oceanic. Located in Ronkonkama, NY by Islip Airport,” wrote journalist Ethan Klapper on Twitter.
Jon Ostrower, Editor-in-Chief of the Air Current, wrote on Twitter, “BREAKING: Ground stop now in effect — all departures stopped — for JFK, LGA, EWR due to positive covid-19 tests. Other regional airspace sectors halted through key ‘gates’ through NY air traffic areas.”
According to Flight Radar 24, “Traffic to airports inside New York ARTCC airspace is being held at their origin due to ‘staffing issues.’ Flights already in the air are continuing if able or diverting. TRACON controllers are now managing some traffic.”
An FAA Technician at JFK Airport Recently Tested Positive for COVID-19
On March 20, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration wrote that an FAA technician who was assigned to the air traffic control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before. The technician had not been to the facility since March 16, when he left the building after a brief visit and did not enter the air traffic control tower cab where air traffic controllers work.
He was previously in the facility on March 11. Even though he did not enter the tower cab, as a precaution, the FAA scheduled a thorough cleaning of it as well as the equipment room, administration officers and elevators to “ensure a safe work environment for all of our employees.”
FEMA has compiled an informational page on coronavirus myths that you can read here.
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