US air travel concerns surface as gov't shutdown drags on

12 January, 2019, 18:06 | Author: Mary Valdez
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"The economic impact of these shutdowns is simply terrible for our community". Chin said an increase in TSA employees not reporting to work would prompt the airport to close a security checkpoint at terminals that have multiple entry points, such as Concourse J or Concourse D. "You're going to have longer lines next week I would imagine, that would have to be the case if people can't make it to work".

Some workers are on furlough, while others are required to work even though they had to miss their first paycheck Friday.

President Donald Trump has demanded Congress approve $5 billion for a wall on the southern border as part of the legislative package needed to fund parts of the government for another year.

Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid.

Bill Kisseadoo, president of the Miami union for federal air-traffic controllers, said the missed payday has escalated the pressure on the roughly 100 workers at MIA's control tower who are supposed to focus exclusively on helping planes take off and land safely.

The worldwide airport in Miami has been forced to shut down one of its terminals early for three days due to a shortage of security agents sparked by the partial U.S. government shutdown now in its 21st day.

The continuing government shutdown, now tied for the longest in USA history, is starting to affect airport operations and has cut the flow of federal money to transit agencies, including the CTA.

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Willis said that the shutdown also is affecting transit and commuter rail, with grants being suspended to transit agencies. A Federal Reserve survey in May found that 40 percent of Americans would have to borrow or sell something to make a $400 emergency payment.

While the percentage of officers calling in sick is up substantially, the overall number of missing screeners remains small and airport operations have had minimal disruptions, according to the agency.

An NPR poll released Friday shows 74 percent of Americans believe the government shutdown is embarrassing for the country and they feel frustrated or angry toward the federal government. On Thursday, 99.9 percent of passengers waited less than 30 minutes, Bilello said.

But Chin said the airport has been monitoring security checkpoints and they have not seen abnormal delays.

"We are humbled by the acts of kindness and support from industry and the public, who clearly recognize and admire our officers' efforts", Bilello tweeted.

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