Flight delays blamed on limited staff at Jacksonville air traffic control center, weather – Action News Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – RELATED: Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds of additional flights

UPDATE 10/10/2021: Action News Jax’s Ben Becker has obtained a letter from Jacksonville Aviation Authority COO Tony Cugno to the board of directors refuting rumors of a walkout by controllers over the vaccination mandate.

Read the letter below:

ORIGINAL STORY: According to the FAA, the massive flight cancellations were blamed on the limited staff at the Jacksonville air traffic control center in Hilliard and the weather on Friday night.

Several flights to and from Florida have been either canceled or delayed Friday evening.

Allison Hill went to Disney World with her family. She said their 9:50 p.m. Friday flight from Orlando to Houston was delayed and ultimately canceled early Saturday morning.

On Saturday, they rented a car in hopes of catching a flight from Tampa home.

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“Having to look everywhere for a rental car and a hotel, then the hours and hours at the airport were really tough,” she said. The Hills had a flight over Southwest.

In a tweet, Southwest said, “ATC issues and disruptive weather conditions have resulted in a high volume of cancellations throughout the weekend as we work to recover our operation.”

A Federal Aviation Administration representative told Action News Jax: “Due to a combination of extreme weather conditions, active military training in the airspace, and unexpectedly limited personnel at the Jacksonville facility which handles high-altitude en-route traffic, the FAA has taken action. to safely manage air traffic on the evening of October 8. Normal operations returned around 10 p.m.

Action News Jax’s chief meteorologist Mike Buresh said the weather was clear in the region long before the delays were reported.

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“It sure doesn’t look like things are back to normal,” Hill said. “There are still tons of canceled flights, even [Saturday] so I don’t really know what’s going on.

At Jacksonville International Airport, a representative said seven flights had been canceled. “Passengers and those who collect them should check with their airline before going to the airport.”

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