FILE PHOTO: A general view of the international arrival terminal at JFK airport in New York October 11, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily halted flights arriving at New York City airports and Philadelphia on Saturday after a trainee at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center tested positive for COVID-19.
The FAA lifted the order in the afternoon but some flights were still being delayed while flight management returned to normal. The positive test forced the FAA to close some air space sectors and reroute flights, the agency said.
Flightaware, a flight tracking website, said 600 flights had been canceled on Saturday at John F. Kennedy and Newark airports.
The FAA has had a series of issues this week due to cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, forcing the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights and the closing of towers earlier this week at Chicago Midway and Las Vegas.
More than 1,500 flights have been canceled at Las Vegas, where the tower is still closed, including more than 500 on Saturday. Another 300 flights were canceled at Midway on Saturday.
The FAA on Friday temporarily closed the tower at New York’s JFK, which led to some flight cancellations, and also shuttered part of the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center for cleaning after workers tested positive for the coronavirus.
Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown and Sonya Hepinstall