He said safety is being maintained during a period of "minimal impacts" on travel. "We are in regular contact with officials at the Department of Transportation and the FAA".
O'Hare was second only to LaGuardia in flight delays Friday morning, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
"The shutdown hit home, finally", said Sanjay Shetty, a management consultant from Ann Arbor, Michigan, as he waited to board a delayed plane to Detroit. "I travel every week, and nothing surprises me".
Delays were also reported at other airports in the Northeast, including Philadelphia, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
President Donald Trump (left) initiated the shutdown until congress acquiesces to his $5.7 billion border security plan.
According to a poll conducted by airfarewatchdog.com, 62 percent of flyers said they were concerned about their safety during the shutdown, while 47 percent responded that they believe airlines should be required to pay for private security during the pause in government funding.
Initiated on December 22, it's the longest government shutdown in American history - but there's no end in sight as President Trump continues to lock heads with congress over the funding of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. "Many controllers have reached the breaking point of exhaustion, stress, and worry caused by this shutdown". "This is reckless, what has been going on with the shutdown". IRS workers are claiming hardship exemptions and staging similar protests, which could delay tax refunds for Americans who need them most. Airport employees across the country have failed to show up to work the past month of the partial government shutdown. On Thursday the TSA said that it had 7.6% of its workers call out with unscheduled absences. Massport says they are "aware and monitoring the situation". A TSA spokesman said other airports might also be getting additional help.
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Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump dismissed the struggles families are going through as just "a little bit of pain", adding, "this is so much bigger than any one person". "We are already short-staffed".
As news of Friday's disruptions spread, leaders of aviation unions sent a message: I told you so.
"With that said, in the past few weeks, we have warned about what could happen as a result of the prolonged shutdown. It is unprecedented", they said.
LaGuardia has not commented on stopping incoming flights.
"Passengers may experience delays and should check with their airline for the latest information about their flight", Massport said.
President Trump says he'll sign legislation shortly to reopen shuttered government departments for three weeks - until February 15.
But even congressional Republicans are floating the idea of an illegal TSA strike as a potential shutdown-ender.