US aviation system is starting to show strains from shutdown

US aviation system is starting to show strains from shutdown

"The economic impact of these shutdowns is simply frightful for our community".

Two federal officials who spoke with CNN on Friday said officers were calling out sick in protest of the expectation that they work without paychecks until the Trump administration and Congress make a deal to end the shutdown.

A union that represents thousands of USA air traffic controllers filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Friday claiming its failure to pay the workers during an ongoing partial government shutdown could endanger passengers' safety.

The shutdown was triggered by a standoff over funding for President Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

Those deemed non-essential have been placed on unpaid leave, while others have been forced to continue working without pay.

The lawsuit filed by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association union charges that Trump, the Federal Aviation Administration and other USA officials are violating workers' constitutional rights by "depriving them of their hard-earned compensation without the requisite due process".

Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson, the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the TSA chief in a letter this week that it was "only reasonable to expect officer call outs and resignations to increase the longer the shutdown lasts".

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Controllers across the country started seeing pay stubs on Thursday showing that they are receiving no pay for their work guiding planes to airports nationwide.

"As the lines slow down and the crowds grow larger, it puts more and more passengers at risk from an attack", Price said.

Miami International Airport plans to close off one of its terminals this weekend due to staffing shortages caused by the ongoing partial government shutdown.

Economists at S&P Global said the shutdown has cost the US economy $3.6 billion so far.

Tampa International Airport is working with different agencies to set up a food pantry, get bus passes and work with utilities to help hundreds of federal employees who may be struggling to pay bills. Ninety percent of the workforce at the Federal Transit Administration is on furlough.

TSA has downplayed reports that a rise in airport screeners calling out sick - or even quitting their jobs - has led to long lines at security. TSA said only about 220,000 travelers waited at least 15 minutes at checkpoints, while 0.2 percent - fewer than 5,000 - waited at least 30 minutes. "We thank TSA officers for their resilience and diligence, and we thank industry and the public for their continued acts of kindness and support".

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