Government shutdown costly for GA

Delays in the delivery of aircraft caused by the federal government shutdown in October held up $1.9 billion worth of aviation assets, according to a report issue this month by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

That number is based on the delay of 156 aircraft deliveries slated to have taken place between Oct. 1 and Oct. 16, during what was the second-longest government shutdown since 1980. In all, the OMB report estimated the U.S. economy suffered a loss of between $2 billion and $6 billion in lost output as a result of the shutdown. 

The delay in aircraft deliveries came about because the FAA Aircraft Registry, based in Oklahoma City, was closed for the 16-day duration of the government shutdown. The registry closure came at an especially bad time for aircraft manufacturers, dealers and brokers, as a high number of aircraft deliveries traditionally occur during the fourth quarter, officials with the National Business Aviation Association noted.


Ed Bolen

“Imagine if no citizen of the United States could buy or sell a car, purchase or re-finance a home, or if the sale of any other critical goods came to a complete and grinding halt — that’s what has basically happened in business aviation,” NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said at a Capitol Hill rally of aviation leaders held during the shutdown to draw attention to its effect on the industry. “Because business aviation is more regulated than other industries, the shutdown has had a far more dire impact on business aviation than for other industries.

In addition to the financial toll from delayed aircraft transactions caused by the closure of the FAA registry and highlighted by the OMB study, the government shutdown also prompted some transactions to be cancelled entirely, further deepening its impact on the industry, NBAA officials reported.

Janine Iannarelli, president of Par Avion Ltd., a business aircraft marketing firm based in Houston, reports that the shutdown’s effect on the FAA Registry still lingers, weeks since the closure ended on Oct. 17.

“The registry is pretty much caught up on aircraft transactions, although almost all FAA document processing is delayed by about four weeks,” Iannarelli said. “But in the days just after the shutdown, the backlog was considerable and you had to wait for closing.

“Things just weren’t happening in a timely fashion. I am concerned about deals we now have in the pipeline,” she added. “All we can do is to keep clients apprised.”


  1. Don G says

    I find this article to be interesting but uninformative. The journalist suggests that the government shut down put at risk 1.9 billion dollars of aviation assets but he does not report any actual dollar loss. He references 156 aircraft deliveries held up by the shutdown and alludes to order cancelations but he does not report any cancelations. If the shutdown was so costly to GA why not give me actual dollar losses. If it was just uncomfortable for GA then maybe GA and all its stakeholders should press the government to pass a federal budget and stop living from continuing resolution to continuing resolution.

  2. Bill says

    The real clue is ( held up $1.9 billion worth of aviation assets) I’m sure everyone got their planes just a little later. 1.9 billion is just a drop in the bucket what the government wastes everyday.

  3. Ed Watson says

    Just more CONTROL my friends, control is the name of the game in our gubmint. Good or bad does not play into the picture for EITHER side.

  4. JG says

    The conservatives came to the president 5 times with options to reopen the government. He refused all offers of compromise. The last one attempted by conservatives simply mandated that congress would be subject to the provisions of the ACA just like everyone else. The president refused to agree. I think it speaks volumes as to who the true obstructionist truly is.

    How can you justify your next vote for a Democrat.

  5. runfastandwin says

    Oh the irony – in my experience most pilots are gung-ho Republicans. How’s it feel to get stabbed in the back? How can you justify your next vote for a Republican, knowing they would prefer to burn down the government (with you inside) than compromise? And to Ric, contrary to what you may have been told or believe, the President does not decide which activities are essential and which aren’t, Congress makes those decisions when they appropriate funds. Even in the face of all this economic hardship, directly a result of the government shutdown engineered by elected Republicans, most of you will continue to vote Republican. I just don’t understand why.

    • Governmentstudent says

      Sorry runfastandwin but you are wrong. Congress does not make the decisions on what is essential and what is not. In the event of a shutdown, each government agency is responsible for determining that. In case you haven’t heard federal government agencies are headed by presidential appointees and are under the executive branch of government and headed currently by Barack Obama.
      Since 1980, every government agency has been required to have a plan in the case of a shutdown, defining essential employees and operations. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated this in a memo that it periodically updates.
      Despite these guidelines, the process an agency goes through in identifying these functions and the employees who perform them is highly subjective.
      And by the way these plans are not available to ‘we the people’.

    • Sky says

      Apparently this President does not know anything, has not been told anything and does not make decisions. How I wish President Clinton was back in office because at least he had an understanding of what leadership was. It is easy to criticize one party or the other. We have a government that has a leadership void. A clear example would the the Affordable Care Act website. No one is in charge, no one is responsible and no one is at risk of losing their job. 40 years ago my father gave me a piece of good advice: “You never make a mistake when you hire someone. The mistake you make is when you don’t fire them if they don’t do their job!.” It’s time to fire those bureaucrats that don’t get the job done. Doesn’t matter which party. Currently it looks like a lot of Democrats need to be fired. All that this admistration has done is blame someone else. I’m guessing they’ll blame Bush!

    • Frank47 says

      Are you a pilot yourself? If so, one might wrongly assume you have a slight bit of intelligence…. but you opened your mouth and removed all doubts as to your lack of such.
      Actually, your dimmocrat buddies in the US Senate were totally responsible for the shutdown because they wouldn’t negotiate with the House.

    • Carl G says

      Well you apparently are not a pilot anyway so why are you belting out this diatribe? Most pilots that I know are conservative as I don’t ask nor don’t tell either. The whole pretense was to inflict pain onto the users as small as they are. I as a designee received many calls to expedite some certification efforts to get things moving. I could have done the work that the FAA is duly charged to do. However, I couldn’t even get a delegation from those offices as no one was there. It was a vacation for them just like 9/11 when the government shut down the offices world wide. BTW I am a pilot, mechanic and FAA designee also.

  6. Robert Lee says

    I find it hard to beleive that 156 delivers were held up due to the goverment being shut down for two weeks. Tails numbers are obtained prior to delivery and if a company waited till the plane was sitting on the flight line, then they need new managers.

  7. Ric says

    The White House decision to make the FAA registry non-essential was unprecedented. And like closing fee-based national parks like the Grand Canyon, and Yellow Stone (remember, we pay an entrance fee to most National parks) their efforts were to extract the maximum pain on the general public.

    • Carl G says

      The FAA does not have anyone on staff who can render a decision like that might adversely effect their rating or pay structure. It is easier to say No and have tou reapply in 90 days for further denial than take care of the job at hand.
      “Oh, it might effect my next step increase”, or move to another work station if one does something out side of the political arena. Common sense will not be tolerated in government.

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