Coronavirus has hit virtually all aspects of aviation. Thousands of flights have been canceled, with nearly 100 airlines (a handful of them based out of the U.S.) stopping services altogether.
On top of that, several airports have had to deal with air traffic control centers that have had to be closed due to those personnel contracting coronavirus.
In the U.S., these are some of the larger airports that have so far been affected by such closures:
- Midway International Airport (Chicago) – Three technicians who worked at the control tower tested positive for COVID-19. The tower was temporarily closed on March 17 and the airport functioned at a reduced rate, with flights being diverted to Kansas City and Milwaukee. The airport reopened on March 24.
- McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas) – An air traffic controller at LAS tested positive for the virus, which closed the control tower on March 19. Flights were decreased to 12 per hour, with air traffic control duties taken over by the Las Vegas Terminal Radar Approach Control. After cleaning and disinfecting, the airport reopened on March 25.
- John F. Kennedy Airport (New York) – a technician who worked at the control tower at JFK tested positive on March 19. The airport experienced significant flight delays that morning, until air traffic controllers were able to relocate to a backup facility on airport property.
- John Wayne Airport (California) – March 27: “The FAA has advised John Wayne Airport that a JWA Air Traffic Controller is unconfirmed, but presumed positive for COVID-19,” said JWA spokeswoman Deanne Thompson. The tower was closed on March 27 and the FAA began handling all air traffic through a regional control center. With that, the general aviation runway was closed and the commercial runway was allowing 10 arrivals per hour (typical is 28). On March 29, the Controller was deemed negative for coronavirus and the tower reopened.
As the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise exponentially, more and more airports will undoubtedly be affected. There was an excellent article about it in Politico the other day.
Looking outside the United States, whole countries, wishing to be proactive to protect their citizens from getting coronavirus, have suspended virtually all commercial international flights (usually except for its own citizens). Those include Albania, Angola, Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary