More than 30 aviation industry groups and unions are urging the federal government to end the partial government shutdown, citing its harmful effects on the industry.
“As the partial shutdown continues, the human and economic consequences are increasing and doing greater harm,” the groups wrote in a joint letter to President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-12-CA). “Civil aviation supports more than 7% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and $1.5 trillion of economic impact, creating over 11.5 million jobs, but this shutdown is hampering our ability to function effectively.”
The letter cited several areas of concern to the industry, including:
- Hardships faced by FAA staff, air traffic controllers and others aviation industry professionals working without pay.
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel also are working without pay and facing financial hardships.
- With fewer transportation security officers available to screen travelers at checkpoints, wait times will grow and larger crowds will be forced to congregate in public areas of airports. In some cases, checkpoints may have to be closed as a result of the shutdown.
- The suspension of air traffic controller training, slowing the arrival of new workers to a system already at a 30-year low.
- The curtailing of general aviation aircraft certification and work on safety-related airworthiness directives.
- The prevention of the FAA from issuing new student pilot certificates, halting training for prospective pilots.
“This partial shutdown has already inflicted real damage to our nation’s aviation system and the impacts will only worsen over time,” the letter concludes. “We urge you to act quickly to resolve these issues.”
Read the full letter from the aviation groups to government leaders.
“General aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, with daily oversight and essential services provided by a host of federal agencies,” National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen noted in a summary the association published earlier in the week, detailing the shutdown’s specific impact for general aviation. “These disruptions to services are already visible, and if history is a guide, the impact from the shutdown could increase as the shutdown continues. Like all aviation stakeholders, we want the president and Congress to come to an agreement that ends the shutdown, and restores the critical services needed by the aviation community.”