Nearly 18,000 FAA workers involved in activities such as airmen certificate issuance and NextGen development are furloughed as a result of the partial federal government shutdown took effect on December 22. This marks the third time this year the government has shut down as Congress and the White House reached stalemates over various issues, this time border-wall funding.
While Congress was able to pass year-long funding bills for agencies such as the Department of Defense, it could not push through bills for numerous federal agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security, and Commerce.
For the FAA, this affects 17,791 positions that are not involved in the excepted “life and safety” positions. In addition to airmen certificate issuance and NextGen development, activities suspended include unmanned systems exemption, aviation rulemaking, facility security inspections, routine background checks, air traffic control specialist development, certain drug testing, dispute resolution, and air traffic performance analysis, among many others.
Thanks to the most recent FAA reauthorization bill, the aircraft registry remains open. ATC, maintenance of ATC equipment, field inspections, and “limited” aircraft certification activities also continue.
At other agencies, essential activities such as TSA and Customs continue. However, NBAA notes that overtime arrivals would be affected and advised operators to communicate directly with their port of entry to clarify if this would have an impact on proposed arrival times after normal business hours.
NBAA further encouraged members to report to the association how the shutdown is affecting their operations. “This information will be used to tell elected officials about the damage the government shutdown is doing to companies of all sizes, all across the U.S.,” the association said.