Air Traffic Controller Shortage Forces JetBlue to Cancel Many NYC Flights This Summer, CEO says
By Yehudit Garmaise
In an attempt to keep departures taking off on time, JetBlue is cutting flights into and out of NYC this summer, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes lamented on Wednesday.
Hayes explained that a continuing shortage of air traffic controllers is significantly slowing down air traffic.
"Every day last summer, for instance, approximately 350 flights were delayed in the New York area partly because airports lacked air traffic controllers," Hayes said, citing FAA data during a discussion at the Economic Club of New York in New York City."If JetBlue doesn’t cut flights in NYC, delays will be 45% worse compared to last summer, according to the FAA."
While air traffic controllers, who direct all inbound, outbound, and through traffic across New York airspace, now staff only 54% of what is needed, the national average air traffic controller staffing level stands at 81%.
New York’s significant shortage of air traffic controllers impacts JetBlue more than other airlines because nearly 60% of its flights depart and land in the New York area every day.