The Miami International Airport closes a terminal this weekend due to the partial shutdown of the government because security screening officers call twice as sick as the airport. The current partial shutdown of the government has become equal for the longest stop ever recorded on Friday.
Friday marks the first day that screening officers will miss a pay check, and airport spokesman Greg Chin said it was unlikely that the number of workers needed to handle the 11 points of control during the normal hours of the weekend is insufficient.
Chin says Terminal G will close at 1 pm Saturday, reopen for flights Sunday morning and close at 13h. That day.
The terminal serves United Airlines and the smaller carriers. Closing means that restaurants and stores that depend on departing flights will also close.
Chin told the Miami Herald that some passengers complained about the longer wait, but that there was no abnormal delay in terms of safety.
CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave said the shutdown could lengthen wait times at airports. Wait times are already rising in many airports, as some screening officers call patients rather than working without pay.
At LaGuardia Airport in New York, passengers had to wait in security lines for about an hour on Sunday. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has attributed a higher than expected number of travelers, combined with poorly managed resources. But the agency worries that the current closure means that the lines could only lengthen.
There has already been a modest increase in the number of TSA agents To be absent due to illness. Agency officials are concerned that Friday's pay deadline, when screening officers miss their first paycheque, is a "turning point". Many of the more than 51,000 screening officers can not afford to lose their weekly pay and may not work. Security delays could mean missed flights for passengers.
Air traffic controllers also work unpaid, and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are unable to deploy in the event of an accident, such as fatal accident of small plane in Michigan last week.
They can only be called back to work if there is a "reasonable likelihood" of a life-threatening safety problem.
"Every day we are not at work, it becomes a growing risk factor," said FIA inspector Flee, Troy Tomey.