Jan. 29, 2019
Washington, D.C. —
The end of the longest-ever partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is a welcome development, but RAA is greatly concerned by the prospect of another shutdown on February 15 and the negative impact it will have on the commercial aviation system.
The 35-day shutdown seriously impacted the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration, forcing air traffic controllers to slow the flow of flights in the airspace to maintain high safety standards and leading to long lines at security checkpoints at U.S. airports. In addition, airlines had difficulty placing new aircraft into service because the FAA did not have the resources to authorize new aircraft, leading to service disruptions and, in some cases, delayed starts of planned routes. The FAA was unable to issue new student pilot certificates, which halted training for countless prospective pilots, exacerbating a pilot shortage that had already reached a crisis level.
RAA President and CEO Faye Malarkey Black praised federal workers for serving air travelers during the shutdown even as they dealt with increasing stress on a very personal level. “We are deeply grateful to the dedicated professionals at the FAA, TSA and Customs and Border Protection who kept air travelers safe and secure despite missed paychecks and the accompanying financial hardship as the impacts of the shutdown escalated,” she said.
Another shutdown would again seriously impact airline operations, doing a disservice to the traveling public. It would erode the public’s confidence in air travel. RAA strongly encourages President Trump and leaders in Congress to avoid another shutdown and reach a long-term solution that extends beyond February 15 to bring certainty to the commercial aviation industry and the federal workers who support it, and to give passengers confidence that airline operations will continue and their future travel plans will not be interrupted.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and robust regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines, industry business partners and government regulators, and promotes the interests of regional airlines in a changing business environment. In the United States, regional airlines operate 41 percent of scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to nearly two-thirds of the nation’s airports.
Jan. 29, 2019