The partial government shutdown, now in its 35th day, has now started to affect planes taking off and landing at some major airports. Newark, LaGuardia, and Philadelphia airports are reporting major delays due to a staffing shortage at the New York air traffic control "center". This is a hub facility that handles all air traffic north and east of Washington, DC center. There are 20 of these regional facilities across the country that are reporting excessive staffing shortages.

Air Traffic Controllers work for the Federal Aviation Administration. They are federal workers who are not being paid right now. Those who are on the job are essentially volunteering their time. Lawmakers on both sides of the shutdown fight agree these workers will receive back pay in the end, but that does stop bills from coming. Estimates show approximately 800,000 federal workers are directly affected by the shutdown over the construction of President Trump's landmark campaign promise: the border wall.