FAA to hire more air traffic control workers in Florida


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Airline executives have blamed insufficient staffing on delays in and out of Florida, but it isn’t the only obstacle the industry is facing.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — If you’ve flown in or out of Florida recently, it may not have been the smoothest travel experience.

Thousands of flights were delayed or cancelled last month alone. It’s been blamed on the large number of people wanting to travel, short staffing and bad weather.

The Federal Aviation Administration just hosted a two-day meeting with people in the industry such as airline executives to come up with a solution. The FAA announced Wednesday they plan to immediately increase the number of workers at the Jacksonville Air Traffic Control Center in Hilliard.

Leaders from JetBlue, Frontier and Southwest Airlines have blamed insufficient staffing on delays in and out of Florida. Another obstacle for flying is an increasing number of space launches and military exercises. The FAA plans to get more information to airlines about these events and help them come up with alternative altitudes or alternate routes.

Service to Florida cities is reportedly up over 100 percent since 2019, according to FAA data. This week is National Travel and Tourism Week. Visit Jacksonville reports hotel occupancy this year is expected to be the strongest year in Duval tourism history.

On Wednesday, parking in several lots filled up at Jacksonville International Airport before 8:00 in the morning. JIA posts updates like this on their Twitter page.

This week Spirit Airlines officials announced the company is rejecting JetBlue’s bid to buy the airline. JetBlue has cut its number of flights this summer amid staffing shortages.

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