The FAA said Friday an “increased number” of its own employees are testing positive for the virus. That could force it to implement health and cleaning procedures that reduce the number of flights the system can handle.
“To maintain safety, traffic volume at some facilities could be reduced, which might result in delays during busy periods,” the FAA said.
The Transportation Security Administration told CNN on Thursday that it has “adequate staff to cover flight schedules and passenger volumes.”
Airlines have been canceling flights as they face staffing shortages. They had been staffing up and bringing back employees from cost-cutting leaves of absence. Airline payrolls numbered 718,000 in October, the most recent data available from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, up from 669,000 a year earlier.
But the industry says the omicron variant of the coronavirus is sidelining its teams, and successfully asked federal officials to cut back the guidelines for isolation and quarantine.