Feds plan move of Newark Air Traffic Control to Philadelphia

Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in an attempt to help relieve chronic staffing issues and congested traffic in the Newark Airport area, a report says.

Last Wednesday, federal authorities announced plans to transfer control of the airspace in the Newark area to Philadelphia.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has signed a memorandum with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to relocate control of Newark at New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) (N90) to Philadelphia Tower/TRACON by the end of June.

Newark Airport has seen frustrating delays in recent years due to a lack of air traffic controllers.

Last December, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) paid a visit to the busy airport’s control tower to sound an alarm about the problem. The situation is so dire that at control towers for Newark, JFK and La Guardia airports, staffing is at just 54 percent – more than 30 percent below the minimum, the congressman said.

According to Gottheimer, it can take more than three years to train a single controller. During the pandemic, a training hiatus caused a backlog that the nation is just starting to catch up to.

“On top of that, veteran controllers are leaving the FAA in significant numbers,” Gottheimer continued.