This air traffic control center in Florida is so understaffed that flight cancellations are skyrocketing, airline groups say.

Air traffic control tower

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  • The Aviation Pilot Association (ALPA) has expressed concern about the staffing of air traffic control centers.

  • The group pointed to the center in Jacksonville and said it was understaffed for 27 of the last 30 days.

  • The government said it would increase the number of staff in the center, which reportedly had 30 new hires as of June.

A US airline lobbying group is calling on the federal government to work on air traffic control staffing ahead of the busy July 4 holiday weekend.

Airlines for America said in a letter sent to Secretary of Transportation Pete Butigeg on Friday that one of the member airlines said air traffic control (ATC) issues were at least three minutes after recent US flight cancellations. He said he presumed to contribute to one of the. The letter was seen by an insider.

Statistics come after chaos Major holiday weekends in May and June. is more than 35,000 flights were suspended on the weekend of June 16th..

A4A said the lack of ATC “leaded to traffic restrictions in blue sky conditions” and partially blamed staffing.

The group specifically pointed out the Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Center in Florida. This is due to a shortage of personnel for 27 of the last 30 days, according to the Aviation Pilot Association. The facility oversees air traffic in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Norcross and South Carolina, and manages approximately 250 military and civilian airports. According to the Federal Aviation Administration.

May, FAA met with an airline To discuss the issue, the agency promised to “immediately increase the number of authorized staff at the Jacksonville Center and evaluate other Florida facilities.”

As of June 17, the center has 30 new controllers, according to sources familiar with FAA’s recruitment plans. Local Jacksonville News Station News4JAX reported.. The FAA has confirmed with Insider that an additional controller has been added to the Jacksonville team, but has not given a specific number.

“There is no shortage of air traffic controllers throughout the system,” officials said in a comment, saying that convective weather and the demand for travel to the state were the drivers of delays and cancellations in Florida.moreover, The agency said it would not launch into space on the weekend of July 4, “adding alternative routes and placing more controllers in high-demand areas.”

Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that recruitment is a major challenge for FAA due to the lengthy process of interviewing, training and drug testing. But he said the agency needs to do a better job than recruiting young people.

FAA has been working to find more candidates in the last few weeks, including the launch of the “Be ATC” campaign. “Hire the next generation of air traffic controllers.”The application process starts from June 24th Eligible US CitizenHowever, the window of opportunity is only open until June 27th.

There are also problems with other ATC centers in the United States. John Lucia, an officer at the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center, said: Told CNBC The thunderstorm could block traffic at Dallas / Fort Worth and Dallas Love Field Airports.

in the meantime, United CEO Scott Kirby said in an interview with Bloomberg ATC staff at the hub of Newark Liberty International Airport Caused a serious flight obstacle..

“I had a weekend recently. [ATC] The staff is less than 50% and the controllers are moving their tails to succeed, “he said. Per hour, it’s a nightmare for customers, employees and airlines. “

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