The FAA at the Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport shut down flights for several hours, leaving many to wait and watch as flights were delayed or cancelled altogether. This shutdown came as a result of the need to sanitize facilities at the airport, which impacted the flights for the rest of the day. After several hours of cleaning and sanitizing, the FAA reopened DFW and nearby Love Field, but not before seriously throwing off thousands of travelers.
A spokesperson for the FAA said that all passengers should keep an eye on flights to see how and when they would be rescheduled. The spokesperson initially declined to speak as to the shutdown, but eventually explained that a worker at Air Traffic Control tested positive on Christmas Day for Coronavirus. This positive test required for the entire area to be shut down and thoroughly cleaned before workers could return to duty.
Not only that, but there was some exceedingly poor weather that played into account, leading the FAA to close the airport entirely. Needless to say, without air traffic control, safely landing planes is impossible.
Delays and return to normal
Now that the Air Traffic Control has been cleaned, flights will slowly but surely resume and take off. While travelers may be inconvenienced, this is all part of the FAA making sure to work closely with the CDC. The FAA spokesperson said that the FAA, as a whole, is committed to working closely with the CDC and making sure to follow every safety guideline implemented. It is important to appreciate and understand that the FAA is doing its best to make travelers feel comfortable and, more importantly, safe as they travel during this busy season. Many Americans are still nervous about traveling by plane during the pandemic, and airlines are doing their best to encourage flyers to resume their activity.
All-in-all, it is both an encouraging but problematic scenario for those involved. For passengers, it should be seen as a boon that the FAA will close an airport to prevent the careless spread of Coronavirus. However, on the other hand, it makes the overall travel experience a little more unstable, not knowing when a flight might be delayed because of a positive test among a pilot, stewardess, or other airline worker. Until the virus is taken care of, be patient and stay safe.