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Weather, staffing issues delay flights at Orlando International Airport, FAA says

by Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. – Delays are growing Sunday afternoon at Orlando International Airport as the Federal Aviation Administration says staffing issues and weather concerns have prompted a gate hold.

According to an airport status information update from the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center, some arriving flights will currently be delayed for as long as an hour or more while departures will be delayed another one and a half hours or longer.

The FAA said there is a ground stop until 6 p.m. due to thunderstorms and a ground delay averaging delays for around 68 minutes due to weather.


The FAA alert, which initially cited staffing issues and now points to “a traffic management problem,” contained some information about delays to the following destinations:

Due to WEATHER / WIND, departure traffic destined to Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas, NV (LAS) is currently experiencing delays averaging 53 minutes.

Due to RWY-TAXI / CONSTRUCTION, departure traffic destined to San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, CA (SFO) is currently experiencing delays averaging 1 hour and 4 minutes.

Due to WEATHER / THUNDERSTORMS, departure traffic destined to Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, FL (PBI) will not be allowed to depart until at or after 4:00 pm EST.

AIRPORT STATUS INFORMATION provided by the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center | Mar 03, 2024 at 9:03 p.m. GMT (4:03 p.m. ET)

Officials at the FAA did not clarify what types of staffing issues are contributing to the delays, but in a statement said that in 2023, the agency hired 1,500 air traffic controllers, and this year they are expected to hire 1,800.

Here is the full statement from the FAA regarding Saturday’s delays:

“Airports in Florida are being impacted by storms today and weather is the leading cause of delays and cancellations. The FAA’s Command Center works closely with airlines to plan for, and around, expected weather nationwide. Learn more about how the FAA navigates around bad weather.

You can find information on MCO staffing in the 2023 Air Traffic Controller Workforce Plan. See page 57. In 2023, the agency hired 1,500 controllers and this year we will hire 1,800.”

Federal Aviation Administration

Passengers were encouraged to check their flight status on MCO’s website.

This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for updates.

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