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ATC Services In The Wake Of Government Shutdown  
User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 674 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5264 times:

Politics aside, what happens when the government shuts down with regards to US air traffic controllers? Will the nation's airspace grind to a halt, or is the FAA already funded through some emergency savings for a couple days?

I heard a commentator on a certain network say good riddance the government won't be operating - everything's a waste of money, etc... Well, my job's kind of out the window if the planes can't get clearance to take off and land.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2783 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5245 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

My understanding is that all essential government operations are still run. ATC is under that banner, along with law enforcement, and the military. What exactly is run I am not sure. But I'm 99.9% sure that the Air Traffic Control system will operate as normal.
Pat



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlineGoBoeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2693 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

I would honestly be okay with just having all airports everywhere be an uncontrolled airport and just fly all the way up into the flight levels of class A airspace using TCAS and visual reference to avoid other airplanes. It'd be a lot of fun for a few days! No separation rules, fly a mile behind another plane on landing, no waiting for another plane to clear the runway, just make sure they're really far up there, etc. Takeoff 10 seconds after someone else as long as it's not larger than your own plane, and so on. I bet it'd be almost just as safe anyway. Let's do it!

User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21555 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5200 times:

During the last government shutdown, ATC get hit hard. Planes still flew, but delays were extensive, particularly into congested areas as the facilities didn't have the staffing they needed. This got rectified very quickly, as Congress didn't want to have to deal with those delays on their flights home for vacation.

Thus, I would doubt that there will be any issues this time around.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinehoMsar From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5164 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
During the last government shutdown, ATC get hit hard. Planes still flew, but delays were extensive, particularly into congested areas as the facilities didn't have the staffing they needed. This got rectified very quickly, as Congress didn't want to have to deal with those delays on their flights home for vacation.

Thus, I would doubt that there will be any issues this time around.

Are you thinking of the sequester from earlier this year? That's an entirely different thing from a government shutdown.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21555 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5145 times:

Quoting hoMsar (Reply 4):
Are you thinking of the sequester from earlier this year? That's an entirely different thing from a government shutdown.

I was, and you're correct that it's different, but I still don't think there will be any noticeable effect.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2687 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

The first thing that should happen if the government shuts down is to close DCA. That alone should be enough incentive for Congress to get off their butts and do whatever is necessary to avoid a shutdown.

User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4927 times:
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Apparently, under the DOT's plan, a third of all FAA employees will be labelled non-essential and furloughed. This will affect mostly administrative employees and ATC staffing will remain at current levels (including support positions) but the Office of Aviation Safety will be all but shut down, operating with little more than 10% of its usual staff.

Airport inspections and medical certifications will continue, but audits and inspection of other facilities and background investigations will be suspended.

If the shutdown lasts more than 2 weeks, the DOT plans to gradually bring back up to 3,000 more FAA employees whose function can be considered non-essential for only a limited amount of time.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinewagz From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 516 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4689 times:
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Quoting Mir (Reply 5):

We'll be here but supposedly not getting paid. I'm thrilled at that prospect.

As far as sequester goes that threat reappears in a couple months and is separate from the current govt shutdown.



I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16857 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4636 times:

Non essential Government employees are furloughed, essential (law enforcement, ATC, military etc..) have to go to work but are not payed (they will be paid retroactively when Government resumes normal operations).


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinekrsw757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4428 times:

From what I've been hearing the only ATC people that could be affected would be trainees not certified on anything. So training will stop and they will be furloughed. Again this is just what people here are saying and may not be true.

User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4241 times:
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Quoting wagz (Reply 8):
We'll be here but supposedly not getting paid. I'm thrilled at that prospect.

Supposedly wages will be paid back once the shutdown ends, if Congress makes it so... I wouldn't want to be in your shoes though.

Quoting krsw757 (Reply 11):
From what I've been hearing the only ATC people that could be affected would be trainees not certified on anything.

Correct.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineLONGisland89 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 735 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4089 times:

Have any of you ATC guys heard about when the academy will come back online? A few weeks ago I heard something about RTF ramping back up in October and tower in November. Now I'm hearing no new classes till January.

User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7140 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3948 times:

As others have said ATC will be fine. Essential employees are a lot of people. Armed Forces, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, National Weather Service, FEMA, TSA, will all be up and running. Things that get shut down are things like secretaries and admin staff at the FAA or FBI, the GSA, EPA, Dept of Education, Library of Congress, National Parks...

Federal courts remain open for at least a few weeks.

So I wouldn't expect many problems if any. Does suck that ATC won't be paid but I doubt it will last longer than a week. Only time will tell, and they will all get their pay checks retroactively.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2071 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3913 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 14):
Federal courts remain open for at least a few weeks.

Hopefully this doesn't end up impacting the US/AA merger case.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Just a nit: It's being incorrectly reported as a "Government Shutdown" - it is not, as the conversation in this thread indicates.

User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2283 posts, RR: 38
Reply 16, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3605 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 9):
but are not payed

I was told this morning that us ATC'ers are under exempted status, aka we go to work and get paid. We can't legally work traffic without being paid. As far as staff, they're on furlough. Now as I am on leave at the end of the month, if nothing changes, its Leave Without Pay or Furlough status for my of vacation. I can choose to come to work and be paid, or take my leave as furlough. Caribbean here I come!



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlinemhkansan From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 674 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3430 times:

And so tonight, it is done.

Hopefully everything will run smoothly tomorrow. So far as aviation is concerned, this is going better than the sequester so far.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16857 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3115 times:

[

Quoting atct (Reply 16):
I was told this morning that us ATC'ers are under exempted status, aka we go to work and get paid.



No you guys, along with Federal Law enforcement, military etc.. are "excepted".

Meaning you still go to work and will not be paid until the Government resumes normal operations. That could be before the next pay period or that could be a month from now. The pay period just ended, you should have been paid this weekend, meaning if the Government resumes normal operations before the next pay period your next pay will not be affected. However if this continues into the next pay period (or further) then you will not be paid. Whenever this crisis is resolved, also the Debt ceiling, the pay will resume.

Federal workers who are "excepted" will continue to work, however they will not be paid until the first pay period after the Government resumes normal operations. That pay will include retro-active pay for the period workers came to work during the Goverment shut-down.

Also all leave has been cancelled, scheduled, sick etc.. If you call out sick or take a scheduled vacation you will be placed into LWOP or furlogh status and will not be paid for those days when Government resumes normal operations.

I hope that cleared things up, your Unions and Executive staff should have briefed you yesterday,



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinekrsw757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3061 times:

Quoting STT757 (Reply 18):

Thanks for clarifying, I worked last night here at jax center and we weren't told anything.


User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2874 times:

So... are there any horrendous amount of delays today?

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16857 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2840 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 20):
So... are there any horrendous amount of delays today?



Why should there be, no air traffic controlers were furloghed.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlinerickabone From United States of America, joined May 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2692 times:

The FAA is far from fully funded, but in this case there is a separation between 'essential' and 'non-essential' employees and services. We (ATC) are considered essential so we must show up to work, but the people who process our pay are considered non-essential so we wouldn't get paid if this lasts more than a week or two. Also, though some of the Tech Ops staff (those who maintain and fix the system) are considered essential, they are only essential for fixing things when in breaks, not for continuing maintenance or upkeep so projects will get delayed and that adds to cost.

User currently offlinemmedford From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 561 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Quoting rickabone (Reply 22):
Also, though some of the Tech Ops staff (those who maintain and fix the system) are considered essential, they are only essential for fixing things when in breaks, not for continuing maintenance or upkeep so projects will get delayed and that adds to cost.

Excuse me?

Preventative MX & Corrective MX goes hand in hand...also what you are unaware of; is that the systems (the displays, voiceswitches, radars, etc..) you use require periodic certifications. Without it; it will be removed from the NAS.



ILS = It'll Land Somewhere
User currently offlineKLASM83 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2537 times:

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 12):
Have any of you ATC guys heard about when the academy will come back online? A few weeks ago I heard something about RTF ramping back up in October and tower in November. Now I'm hearing no new classes till January.

I've been hearing the same thing. Woo, the line gets longer and longer!



Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
25 Post contains images BA677 : Lol, What have you been taking? Can I have some And what about the little planes, if there are no controllers to watch and or help them. After a whil
26 Post contains images N62NA : Well... according to MSNBC a few days ago, there were going to be "big delays!" But then again, it was MSNBC.
27 krsw757 : From an ATC standpoint there shouldn't be any delays from this since all of us are still working, just not being paid.
28 tommytoyz : Not directly ATC related, but Jetblue is not able to take delivery of their first A321. I wonder if no US airlines can take delivery of any new planes
29 mmedford : The people that handles the paperwork for aircraft registrations aren't there...not the end of the world.
30 tommytoyz : Manufacturers won't deliver nor get paid. If this goes on a month or more, there will be a lot of new planes parked.
31 Dreamflight767 : I'll add some clarity. Since Tuesday Oct. 1, Controllers have been officially Air Traffic Control Volunteers. So long as the government is "shut down,
32 LONGisland89 : Without "non-essential" employees, you'd have no one prepared in the pipeline to replace you when you retire.
33 krsw757 : Couldn't have said it better myself.
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