A bill to protect the FAA against future shutdowns of the government is to pick up support and has an industry "galvanized", once sharply divided over the financing of the air traffic control organization, the leaders of the industry agreed. Some 40 organizations signed a letter dated 12 February to the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T & I) Committee and the subcommittee board of aviation, which strongly endorse the HR1108 account, which would allow the aviation insurance fund to cover all expenses of the FAA. in times of future shutdowns and workers allow them to get paid.
"The impact on the nation's air transport system and the workers responsible for keeping the system safe was dramatic," the letter said about the recent 35-day closure. "We find this situation unacceptable and we want to work with the Congress and the administration to prevent this from ever happening."
Testing before the aviation commission hearing on the consequences of the most recent shutdown, president and CEO Pete Bunce of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association told legislators that he has not seen industry as strong as a problem as it has on H.R.1108. Bunce added that the letter may have had more signatories, but leaders wanted to ensure that it ended up at the congress before the end of the day. The president and CEO of Airlines for America, Nicholas Calio, expressed similar feelings and said the issue had "galvanized" the branch. We have come together. "
T & I chairman Pete DeFazio (D-Oregon), who introduced HR1108 in addition to CEO of the aviation subcommittee Rick Larsen (D-Washington), called shutdowns "stupid" and said, regardless of who controls the White House or Congresses: " It must end, it is a stupid way to gain influence. "A number of other lawmakers attending the hearing also provided support for the bill.
During the hearing, Bunce and Calio participated in several other industry leaders who delved deeper into some of the consequences of the shutdown. Bunce noted that a manufacturer had weighed up arms because the FAA flight test staff could not get in his flight test program. A Louisiana company had four helicopter deliveries that were held up due to the inability to get the right taps and those deliveries are still not completed. A large manufacturer experienced about $ 10 million in monthly fire delays in delaying certification. He explained that although the leave was 35 days, it would take much longer to get back in line for certification inspections. In fact, Bunce said that the recovery takes three to four weeks for a week's standstill.
In the meantime, Calio pointed to estimates ranging from $ 15 million and $ 25 million in losses incurred by various airlines due to lost flights and delays in deliveries, among other issues that occurred. But he expressed his concern that the main branch was the human toll in the whole system.
The president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Paul Rinaldi, repeated the stress and exhaustion experienced by the controllers during the shutdown, especially young people who had to find other sources of income. The shutdown had ripple effects throughout the system, Rinaldi admitted.
Mike Perrone, national chairman of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, discussed the morale that his members took when they were told they were not essential staff and agreed that these members – the specialist who maintains and supervises the ATC system on the industry – are highly educated people with a technical background who can be lured into jobs in the private sector.
On the front line, stewards and first-hand workers saw throughout the system that tensions could affect safety and security, said Sara Nelson, international president, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.
But when asked whether a flight that was not safe as a result of the closure, the leaders agreed that this was not the case.