Government shutdown sparks safety concerns among aviation workers

on Jan24
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Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.S. federal government shutdown in a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 10, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.S. federal government shutdown in a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 10, 2019.

Hayes said JetBlue has not experienced a decline in bookings due to the shutdown, but added that its own employees and customers could face longer lines, flight delays and cancellations.

“And the longer this goes on, the longer it will take for the air travel infrastructure to rebound,” he said.

Air traffic controllers have said the shutdown is already straining stretched staff, who are working overtime at the country’s busiest airports.

“I know it’s misplaced at this point, but I’m still hopeful,” said Alex Navarro, an air traffic controller and a union representative based near Seattle, whose wife is also an air traffic controller. He said he loves the job, which he’s had for just over a decade, but that by mid-February, “maybe we need to move on.”

“That’s our line in the sand,” he said.



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