WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oct.. 17 is rapidly approaching and even the experts with crystal balls can’t predict what the government will do. Unless Congress moves before then and passes some sort of funding bills, general aviation could suffer more than the few problems the partial government shutdown is now causing.
Day-to-day flying under the current furloughing of only about 17% of the government workforce is not badly adversely affecting GA. Air traffic control is still operating. But the National Air Traffic Controllers Association warns that no one should be under the illusion that it is business as usual. NATCA says 3,000 aviation safety professionals of the 17,000 workers represented by that association are still not back on the job.
There is no testing for new pilots or upgrading ratings. Nor can medical examinations be recorded. Registry at the FAA still is closed, so if buying or selling a used aircraft, there are no changes of titles or getting titles and purchasers of new aircraft will need temporary registrations. It is still not known if charts will be updated.
Will this get worse if the Oct. 17 date brings no agreement on the debt ceiling? It, no doubt, will if no agreement is reached.
Folks here suggest flipping a coin to predict if there will or will not be an agreement to keep funding the government. Most observers quietly say it looks more and more likely the government will hit its head on the ceiling.