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LEESBURG, Va. — The Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Leesburg reported a COVID-19 case Sunday, prompting a temporary closure for cleaning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
According to the FAA, the cleaning was scheduled from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Sunday. Officials have not yet reported any additional details regarding the individual who tested positive for the virus.
While the cleaning is taking place, officials said that ARTCC controllers will work from an alternate location.
“The FAA has a robust contingency plan for every air traffic control facility and remains positioned to quickly address the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” officials said in a release. “The agency continually monitors controller staffing and traffic demand and remains in close contact with airports, airlines and other stakeholders so we can prioritize our resources to meet the greatest demand.”
The National Airspace System is resilient. Check out the FAA’s interactive map to get the latest on #COVID19 effects on air traffic facilities. We update it constantly to deliver the latest info. View the map at https://t.co/LGpiOeoVsW. pic.twitter.com/uEDFq1UkLr
FAA officials confirm that the agency has a contingency plan for every air traffic control facility and is positioned to respond to the effects of a public health emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every ATC facility has a backup plan in case it has to temporarily close, FAA officials said. The backup plans have been in place for years and aren’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency said there are scheduled COVID-19 cleanings for the overnight hours — as state controllers are able to work from a designated backup facility such as an airline ramp tower.
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