Air traffic controllers in Canada have bought air traffic controllers in the U.S. hundreds of pizza in recent days to show support for their counterparts in what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Air traffic controllers in Canada have bought air traffic controllers in the U.S. hundreds of pizzas in recent days to show support for their counterparts in what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA) said the idea took root on Thursday when employees at a control center in Edmonton, Alberta, decided to buy pizza pies for controllers in Anchorage, Alaska -- nearly 2,000 miles away. Staff at other control facilities across Canada decided to join in, and the idea snowballed. "The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and center for the colleagues in the U.S," Peter Duffey, of CATCA, told The Associated Press.
Delays reported at Newark and Philadelphia airports due to air traffic control staff shortages; David Lee Miller reports from LaGuardia. Airlines including American and United are urging politicians to end the ongoing partial government shutdown amid reports of staffing issues causing delays at airports across the East Coast on Friday morning. Days earlier, three of the largest unions representing air traffic controllers, pilots and flight attendants -- specifically, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Association of Flight Attendants -- also expressed concern for the safety of staff and passengers due to the shutdown. In a statement to Fox News issued Friday, United Airlines admitted that the carrier wasn't expecting significant service interruptions, but called for the government to reopen regardless. "We're working closely with FAA and airport officials to try to minimize the impact on our operations and, most importantly, on our customers. At this point, we don't anticipate significant schedule disruptions, but it is another good illustration of the escalating impact of the government shutdown and the need for the federal government to promptly re-open," the airline stated.
That includes air traffic controllers, like those working in the New York Air Traffic Control Center, who, while they're still waiting for their paychecks, received a tasty symbol of solidarity from their colleagues across the Canadian border. SEE ALSO: Jimmy Kimmel gives federal employees work during Trump's shutdown Canadian air traffic controllers from the Atlantic province towns of Gander and Moncton ordered pizzas for the crew working at the control center in Ronkonkoma, Long Island on Friday, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Pointed out by the news outlet, a notice was posted up in the hallway of the centre heralding the arrival of 32 pies courtesy of the Canadian Air Traffic Controller Association (CATCA). An image of the notice was posted to Reddit by David Lombardo, a former air traffic controller at the Long Island center, and was posted by other employees on Twitter. Thank you to @CATCA5454 for your generosity!
On Wednesday night, unions representing aviation workers--including air traffic controllers, pilots, and flight attendants--released an ominous statement warning that the ongoing government shutdown, now in its 33rd day, poses serious safety risks for its members and for the larger traveling public. "It is unprecedented," the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said of the current situation. "This is already the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and there is no end in sight. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break." The government has been shut down over a month as President Donald Trump attempts to push Democrats to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border, causing harm to federal workers and so many more vulnerable Americans.
On Friday, Jan. 25, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop at New York City's LaGuardia (LGA) airport. In other words, if you're trying to fly to or from LGA: Forget it. Thanks to President Donald Trump's government shutdown, unpaid air traffic controllers were calling in sick in unprecedented numbers. Without enough air traffic controllers at their desks, the FAA shut down traffic to LGA. Simultaneously, airports across the Eastern seaboard saw flight delays increase, as the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system strained under the load.