Congress to Consider Bill to Keep FAA Open During Future Government Shutdowns

By Anna Breuer on 8 February 2019
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The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Two congressmen proposed legislation on Friday that would effectively keep the Federal Aviation Administration up and running in the event of any future government shutdowns.

Congressman Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, and Congressman Rick Larsen, the aviation committee subchair and a Democrat from Washington, introduced a bill that would fund the FAA from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund in such cases. The funding would keep air traffic controllers and other FAA personnel on the job and pay their salaries.

The airline industry came out in support of the measure.

Pointing out the impact that a shutdown can have on the nation’s economy, Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said it appreciated that Congress is “identifying real solutions to ensure that the FAA remains fully operational,” adding that the impact of another shutdown is not tolerable.

The move came two weeks after the last government shutdown during which a shortage of air-traffic controllers, who were working without pay, caused significant delays in the Northeast. Hours later, President Donald Trump and the House and Senate reached agreement for a temporary measure that would keep the government funded for three weeks.

While the measure will keep air-traffic controllers on the job, the funding measure would not pay the salaries of Transportation Security Administration employees who operate security checkpoints at the nation’s airports.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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