Jan. 11, 2019
Washington, D.C. —
The Regional Airline Association, the industry trade association representing North American regional airlines, stood with more than 30 aviation organizations to urge President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reopen the federal government.
The letter outlines the negative affect the partial shutdown is having on the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security, leading to economic consequences causing increasingly greater harm to the civil aviation sector that supports more than 7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
“This partial shutdown has already inflicted real damage to our nation’s aviation system and the impacts will only worsen over time,” the letter states. “We urge you to act quickly to resolve these issues.”
Among the areas of concern cited in the letter that are affecting regional airlines:
“Airlines and charter operators are not able to add new planes to their fleets due to a lack of authorization through the FAA. The service these aircraft provide to communities, including air medical flights, could be delayed. The continued shutdown of certification functions will delay commercial and general aviation aircraft deliveries and exports. This will slow the introduction of new products and technology and result in airlines not being able to add new planes to their fleets, hindering planned routes and potentially resulting in flight cancellations.”
“The FAA is unable to issue new student pilot certificates, which has halted training for countless prospective pilots. Similarly, the FAA is unable to issue certifications required for current pilots to upgrade their position meaning these pilots will experience a delay in their planned upgrades until the shutdown is resolved.”
“ With fewer TSOs available to screen travelers at security checkpoints, wait times will grow and larger crowds will be forced to congregate in public areas of airports. In some cases, checkpoints may have to be closed as a result of the shutdown. Some airports are already struggling to keep up with a record number of travelers, and reduced staffing levels will exacerbate problems in the near-term and into the busy spring and summer travel seasons.”
The full letter can be read here .
Jan. 11, 2019