4,000 FAA Workers Laid Off
Air traffic controllers are still on the job, but on Saturday the FAA gave furlough notices to nearly 4,000 workers in a variety of positions, putting a stop to airport improvement projects and ticket-tax collection. The furloughs will also bring to a halt certification of new products by aerospace companies, according to Reuters. The congressional authorization needed to fund those jobs expired at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Employees paid from the FAA's Operations Account, which is funded from both the Aviation Trust Fund and the general fund, are not affected.
"We are working diligently with Congress to resolve this unfortunate situation, and apologize for the hardship this situation may cause for our employees and our stakeholders," the FAA said in a statement. The furloughed workers "perform critical work for our nation's aviation system and our economy," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "These are real people with families who do not deserve to be put out of work during these tough economic times." The furlough affects workers in 35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including FAA engineers, scientists, research analysts, administrative assistants, computer specialists, program managers and analysts, environmental protection specialists, and community planners.