WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FAA’s decision on Oct. 7 to recall approximately 800 furloughed employees will not affect the FAA Aircraft Registry office. The office remains closed under the U.S. federal government shutdown, which means virtually all aircraft sales have been stopped.
The 800 FAA employees are being recalled to focus on Airworthiness Directives to ensure safety of aircraft in the fleet as well as safety oversight activities, including air carriers, repair stations and production facilities, according to officials.
The Aircraft Registry office closing is unprecedented, and is already having a widespread effect on general aviation manufacturers, officials with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) say.
The Registry must approve each certificate of registration that is required for the sale, export and import of an aircraft. The Registry also manages all legal filings required for an aircraft transaction, including those tied to obtaining financing. The closure of the office has therefore halted nearly all aircraft sales.
In just the first two days of the shutdown, deliveries of 12 newly manufactured general aviation aircraft were halted, GAMA officials noted. If the shutdown continues until mid-October, it will affect the delivery of an additional 130-plus newly manufactured general aviation aircraft, for a total of $1.5 billion.
It could also significantly threaten deliveries for the entire fourth quarter, which typically account for 35% of annual general aviation aircraft deliveries and are worth roughly $8 billion. Moreover, the longer the shutdown continues, the more likely it is to cause economic difficulties and job losses, GAMA officials said.
“The Registry closing threatens our economic recovery and our ability to provide good, high-paying jobs at a time when the industry is making a comeback,” GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said. “We hope the FAA will extend its recall of furloughed workers to employees who do the important work of the Registry office supporting safety and security, and allow our companies to deliver the aircraft their customers want. We also urge our political leaders to end the government shutdown as soon as possible.”