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Canadian aviation crews send pizza to NY colleagues affected by shutdown

Air traffic controllers in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Gander, Newfoundland, sent pizza pies to federal employees staffing the New York Air Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma on Friday as the shutdown was on the brink of entering its fourth week, HuffPost Canada reported.

A sign announcing the Canadians’ pizza purchase for the station, known by the call sign ZNY, was posted on Reddit by David Lombardo, who used to work at the center and stays in touch with many of the workers.

It said Moncton and Gander “graciously decided to buy all of ZNY Pizza in a show of solidarity and support during the Government shutdown.”

The Canadians sent 32 pizzas.

Lombardo said controllers from Canada and the US often work together.

“New York Center is a radar facility that handles a large chunk of domestic and international air traffic. Part of the centre’s airspace lies up against Canadian airspace, so in other words, these controllers ‘hand off’ aircraft to one another, and work together to keep airplanes safe,” he told HuffPost Canada.

There are an estimated 10,000 controllers working in the US during the shutdown caused by an impasse between President Trump and Congress over funding for a wall on the southern border.

Ron Singer, media relations manager for Nav Canada, the corporation that employs Canadian controllers, said all seven of Canada’s control centers and many of the country’s 40 airport control towers have sent pizza to their American colleagues.

“We are very proud of the thoughtfulness that our controllers have shown to their colleagues in the U.S., proud but not surprised,” he told HuffPost Canada.