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East coast airport issues impact Dane County Regional Airport

MADISON (WKOW) – It’s the government shutdown affecting us right here in Madison.

Some travelers going to east coast airports were experiencing hours-long delays Friday at the Dane County Regional Airport.

“We’re seeing some delays at La Guardia, Newark and Philadelphia,” said airport spokesman Brent McHenry. “That is affecting some of our direct flights because we have nonstop flights to those three locations.”

McHenry says of the three flights per day out of Madison to those affected airports each contains 100 people, all of whom were impacted Friday by delays.

The delays were caused by staff shortages related to the government shutdown at east coast airports.

After a more than month-long government shutdown, Friday was the first time Dane County Regional Airport had been impacted.

“Locally, we’ve not had any impact,” McHenry said. “So this is the first day that we’ve actually seen delays based on other hubs that have been related to an FAA problem.”

Jen Riday was flying to Palm Beach, Florida Friday. Her flight was not impacted by the delays.

Still, she has upcoming trips planned. Even with the government potentially temporarily reopening, she’s worried.

“I’m actually traveling three more times in the next couple of weeks, so I think the further we go the more nervous I’m going to get,” she said.

Despite recent storms and blistering cold temperatures, McHenry said the only delays at the airport Friday were related to the shutdown.

“Our runways are clear. They’ve been clear since after the snowstorm,” he said. “This is all related to air traffic control-type delays.”

McHenry says it’s unclear how much of a ripple effect Friday’s delays will have on flights in Madison and across the country.

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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