Disruption Limited In Government Shutdown
The three-day government shutdown that ended Monday had limited impact on the aviation world, but it’s not over yet. The funding bill that was approved to end the impasse will last for only three weeks. During the shutdown, air traffic controllers were on the job, but NATCA President Paul Rinaldi told The New York Times it was still disruptive. “You can’t do any long-term planning,” he said. “They’re all focused on shutdown procedures. Today, you have a whole FAA that’s not working on anything that is modernizing our system. They’re all working on who’s exempt, who’s not exempt.” The NTSB put on hold its Jan. 23 meeting to discuss the probable cause of an American Airlines uncontained engine failure in 2016. On Tuesday, the NTSB rescheduled the meeting to Jan. 30.
Some “non-essential” services at the FAA were disrupted over the weekend. The FAA Safety Team was prohibited from facilitating, presenting or even attending safety seminars. “We will also not have access to our system to cancel meetings,” the team said in a public notice. “There is potential that you will arrive at a safety meeting, and find there is no one to provide the meeting.” The FAA also could not issue airman certificates or register aircraft during the shutdown. The last federal shutdown, in 2013, lasted 16 days.