The nation’s aviation system, which is projected to transport almost 46 million passengers on commercial flights between now and Jan. 6, will not be impacted by a shutdown of the federal government.
The air traffic controllers who supervise flights and federal airline safety inspectors are exempt from furloughs, though an estimated 17,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees deemed nonessential could be laid off.
The Transportation Security Administration, which collects international data on prospective terrorists but is better known for its airport security forces, also will be unscathed if the federal government shuts down.
“The checkpoints will be fully staffed,” said Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman, as will behind-the-scenes counterterrorism activities. “They will not be getting paid. And, basically, the administrative side will not be working.”
Though workers will remain on the job, it is with the assumption that they will receive their wages retroactively rather than get their regular paycheck.