ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The air traffic control tower at St Petersburg-Clearwater (PIE), is closed until January 31, 2021, because the staff was exposed to COVID-19.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the air traffic control tower at Tampa International Airport is handling the airspace.
The FAA said every ATC facility has a backup plan in case it has to temporarily close, which has been the case for many years and is not related to COVID-19.
According to the FAA, COVID-19 cleanings are usually done in the overnight hours and sometimes controllers can work from a designated backup facility, such as an airline ramp tower.
The FAA added that its collaboration with labor partners and agency medical staff has greatly reduced the amount of time facilities remain closed for COVID-19-related cleaning – from six to eight hours down to as little as one to one-and-a-half hours.
It is unknown how many staff members were impacted by the exposure.
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