The long-running dispute over President Obama’s signature health-care initiative led to the first federal government closure of “non-essential” services in 17 years at 12:01 a.m. EDT today. For the FAA, however, it is business almost as usual. Of a total of 46,070 FAA positions, 30,556 are considered exempted and those employees reported for work as usual.
Most of those exempted positions are in the Air Traffic Organization, Office of Aviation Safety, Office of Security and Hazardous Materials and the Office of Regions and Centers, as well as 38 classified as “other.” NBAA said it is in communication “with various government agencies to discuss the ramifications of the shutdown and ensure that services essential to the safe and efficient operation of business aircraft would not be adversely affected.”
According to the National Air Transportation Association, it is “hard to predict how long this shutdown will last and the debate over whether or not to increase the debt ceiling will begin soon as the federal government is expected to reach the $16.7 trillion debt limit by October 17.”
General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce said the government shutdown will interrupt the flow of innovation, as the hundreds of FAA engineers who oversee and certify general aviation products will be sent home. “We hope that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will recognize this impact, among many others, and move quickly to end the shutdown,” he said.