Denver air traffic controller’s virus causes flight delays
December 2, 2020 By The Associated Press
Flights to and from Denver were briefly halted then delayed for several hours on Tuesday after an air traffic controller tested positive for COVID-19.
About 250 flights in and out of Denver International Airport were delayed and more than 40 cancelled on Tuesday, according to FlightAware.com, although it was not clear how many were due to air traffic control issues.
The Federal Aviation Administration said flight-control work slowed down at the airport after workers were moved to a training room. That led the FAA to hold up flights in and out of the region for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon.
After flights resumed, delays continued and affected Denver-bound flights at airports throughout the country, the FAA said.
An airport spokeswoman said operations were expected to return to normal by early evening.
The facility was cleaned later Tuesday, according to FAA. The FAA did not identify the controller or provide information about their condition. It was the fourth time that someone tested positive at the same facility, which handles planes approaching or leaving nearby airports or flying through the area.
A similar facility nearby in Longmont, Colorado, has had employees test positive for COVID-19 nine times.
Nearly 250 FAA facilities including air traffic control towers have had workers test positive during the pandemic. In some cases, remaining controllers are shifted to a backup facility, and at other times entire facilities have closed. Most of those closures have been brief, according to information on the agency’s website.