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Government Shutdown Will Affect Aviators

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Pilots operating in the national airspace after today's shutdown of the federal government should notice little impact, but the aviation industry as a whole will be affected in a number of ways. For those who are flying, air traffic control towers will be staffed as usual, since controllers are exempt from the furloughs. Airman medical certification also is unaffected. Aircraft certification services, however, will be limited, and fewer aircraft accidents will be investigated by on-site teams. Aviation safety inspectors will be furloughed. Their union, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, said it is "outraged." Furloughing these workers "is neither in the best interest of the economy nor the oversight of this country's aviation system," said PASS.

Safety seminars and other events hosted by the FAA's Safety Team may be cancelled or postponed "with little or no advance notice," the team said in a notice on Tuesday. Aviation manufacturers also will feel the impact of the shutdown, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "The government shutdown will interrupt the flow of innovation, as the hundreds of FAA engineers who oversee and certify general aviation products will be sent home," said GAMA President Pete Bunce. "We hope that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will recognize this impact, among many others, and move quickly to end the shutdown."

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