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Flights disrupted along East Coast after air traffic controller tests positive for virus


NEW YORK, NY — The Federal Aviation Administration suspended flights to New York City-area airports during a portion of Saturday afternoon because of a coronavirus issue at a regional air-traffic control center.

In an alert posted online Saturday, the agency advised air traffic controllers to “stop all departures” to Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark and other airports in the region. The directive also affected Philadelphia International Airport.

The halt was lifted after about 30 minutes. Initially air traffic controllers were warned it could last several hours.

The ground stop occurred as the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma was cleaned because an air traffic controller trainee tested positive for coronavirus, the FAA later said in a statement.

The trainee has not been at the facility since March 17, and the FAA said it had contacted local health authorities. The FAA also was working to determine how many personnel might have interacted with the trainee.

Article Topic Follows: US & World

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