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UPDATE 1-Staffing forces brief halt to arrivals at New York airport, new delays

Jonathan Allen and David Shepardson

delays@ (Adds update, comment from FAA, background on airlines)

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Authority briefly issued a ground stop for arriving flights at New York's LaGuardia Airport on Friday morning as the government dealt with staffing shortages at two air traffic control facilities in New York and Florida.

The FAA said earlier that staffing shortages among air traffic controllers were delaying flights at Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International airport.

The FAA issued a notice that it was halting flights into LaGuardia due to staffing issues, but lifted it around 10:45 a.m. The FAA said it was instituting a program to manage traffic that would result in significant delays for arriving flights of nearly 90 minutes.

"Weve mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed," the FAA said. "The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system."

Controllers and airport screeners are not being paid during the ongoing government shutdown that has reached 35 days.

On Thursday, three major U.S. airlines - American Airlines Group Inc, Southwest Airlines Co and JetBlue Airways Corp - said the impact of the shutdown on their business had so far been limited but was nearing a tipping point.

"No one can predict what impact it will have as it continues," Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said of the shutdown on Thursday.

The financial fortunes of airlines are closely tied to the health of the economy. In addition, airlines with hubs in Washington have said they are losing government business as a result of the shutdown. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen and David Shepardson Editing by Bill Berkrot)