Some Canadian airline flights impacted by shortage of U.S. air-traffic controllers
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is endorsing a temporary end to the longest-ever government shutdown in the United States -- just as his standoff with Democrats is being felt by air travellers north of the border.
Trump says the two sides have reached a deal on a so-called continuing resolution, which would ensure the government has the money to continue operating until Feb. 15, and that workers will receive back pay as soon as possible.
The long-awaited breakthrough -- the government has been shut down since Dec. 22 -- comes on the same day that two major U.S. airports were forced to slow the pace of arrivals and departures due to a shortage of air-traffic controllers.
Several WestJet and Air Canada flights to New York's LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International in New Jersey were cancelled or delayed by as much as 90 minutes after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it was dealing with a spike in air-traffic controllers calling in sick.
The FAA, which urged travellers to check with airlines about possible flight delays, said it was managing the impact by calling in staff, rerouting traffic and allowing more space between flight departures.
Air-traffic controllers are among the federal employees who are required to work without pay as a result of the partial government shutdown, the result of Trump's dispute with Congress over funding for his southern border wall, forcing some 800,000 government workers to stay home or forgo wages.
On Thursday, lawmakers on Capitol Hill rejected a pair of bills designed to temporarily end the shutdown -- one from the White House and one from the Democrats, who are staunchly opposed to granting Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding.