Aviation advocacy groups are closely monitoring the impacts of the government shutdown that began on Dec. 21, 2018.
According to officials with the National Business Aviation Association, the impacts of the government shutdown are “wide reaching and evolving as general aviation is a highly regulated industry.”
While critical FAA functions, including air traffic control services, safety oversight, and the FAA Registry, continue functioning, numerous activities at FAA are suspended.
With passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the FAA Registry in Oklahoma City has been deemed essential and will remain open during a government shutdown. During a shutdown, the registry should be able to continue operating as normal, NBAA officials note. This means that most aircraft registrations, renewals, and other critical registry functions will operate as normal.
However, the FAA Aeronautical Central Counsel office, which is involved in certain registry functions, would likely be subject to a government shutdown. This means that the office would not be able to give legal opinions on registrations involving non-citizen trusts or owner trusts.
Also, FAA legal opinions on certain LLCs, corporations, and other complex ownership structures would not be available during the shutdown.
Additional FAA Functions Impacted by The Shutdown
While numerous FAA functions would cease during a shutdown, the following activities that would be suspended are likely of most interest to the general aviation community:
- Issuance of airmen certificates
- Approval of exemptions for unmanned aerial systems operations
- Aviation rulemaking
- Development, operational testing, and evaluation of NextGen technologies
Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
CBP is affected only with overtime arrivals, much like what happened with sequestration, according to NBAA officials. Pilots should communicate directly with their port of entry to clarify any local port impacts on proposed arrival times, especially if the flight is scheduled to arrive after normal business hours.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
TSA is working normal business hours. This includes administrative functions needed to support TSA waiver applications and approval process that support foreign registered aircraft and the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP). Additionally, the coordination needed with FAA for DCA slots remains operational.
This information will be updated on a special web page as NBAA continues to learn more about the impact of a potential partial shutdown starting on Dec. 21.