ARSA Joins Effort to Limit Shutdown Impacts
Even as Congress worked to finalize an agreement to prevent another shutdown and fund the federal government through the end of September, lawmakers were considering ways to insulate the aviation sector from a future FAA appropriations lapse.
ARSA joined with industry allies on a Feb. 12 letter to the leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee coordinated by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association expressing support for the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 (H.R. 1108). The bipartisan bill introduced by T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio would authorize the FAA to draw from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) in the event of a future government shutdown, preventing disruptions to agency operations.
To build the case for the legislation, the House Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing Feb. 13 to document the shutdown’s impact on the nation’s aviation system. ARSA’s statement for the hearing record detailed how repair stations were affected during the shutdown and drew from information provided by members in response to an ARSA “quick question” survey conducted in January. More than three quarters of respondents said the shutdown negatively impacted their companies, either directly or indirectly.
To read the full industry letter, click here.
To read ARSA’s complete statement, click here.
Previous shutdown-related updates…
How is the shutdown affecting you and your company? Click here to let ARSA knowThe letter, which was coordinated by Airlines for America, detailed a range of negative impacts including on FAA staffing and morale, training for air traffic controllers, new aircraft certification and deliveries, renewal of European Aviation Safety Agency repair station approvals, pilot certification, mechanic testing and airport construction project approval. It also highlighted the personal hardship for the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection employees upon whom the functioning of the aviation system depends and who are being forced to work without pay. “Our elected leaders need to understand their political standoff has real world consequences for workers, companies and the economy,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein said of the industry-wide effort the reopen the government. As previously reported by ARSA, the Department of Transportation has published information about which FAA functions are continuing and which are suspended. Of the 24,208 FAA employees working without pay during the shutdown because their function is essential to “life and safety,” almost all (23,856) work in air traffic control; an additional 216 work in the Office of Aviation Safety, 61 work for the Office of Security and Hazardous Materials and 75 are in miscellaneous positions within the agency. According to the DOT summary document, aircraft certification services are continuing during the shutdown, but on a limited basis (no explanation of what “limited” means). Although “Flight Standards field inspections” are a function that will continue as exempted activity during the appropriations lapse, DOT notes that just “[o]ne manager per facility is excepted and inspectors are recalled over time; [f]acility manager will recall inspectors as necessary to maintain safety of the system.” FAA activities that are suspended include airman certifications and rulemaking. “The FAA has suspended certification of mechanics, repairman and repair stations, as well as other oversight work. Delays in getting new approvals or certificates can mean missed business and career opportunities and lost revenues. It’s only a matter of time before those impacts ripple through the workforce, affect air carrier operations and harm the local economies where repair stations are located,” Klein said. Bloomberg reported Jan. 9 that the agency is recalling an unspecified number of aviation safety inspectors who hadn’t previously been working during the shutdown. The news outlet quoted a statement in which the FAA said that, “We are continuing to proactively conduct risk assessment, and when we identify an issue we act and recall our inspectors and engineers, as appropriate, to address them.” The Associated Press reported Jan. 8 that the FAA has been recalling inspectors for certain jobs including airlines assignments and quoted agency spokesman Gregory Martin as saying that the FAA’s focus is on “commercial air carriers and volumes of people they carry." To read the complete letter, click here. In addition to ARSA and A4A, the following organizations – most of which have become regular working allies of the association through its regulatory and legislative advocacy – signed the letter: Aerospace Industries Association Air Line Pilots Association Air Medical Operators Association Air Traffic Control Association Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Airport Consultants Council Airports Council International-North America American Association of Airport Executives Association of Air Medical Services Association of Flight Attendants - CWA Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems Int’l Aviation Suppliers Association Aviation Technician Education Council Cargo Airline Association Commercial Drone Alliance Commercial Spaceflight Federation Experimental Aircraft Association General Aviation Manufacturers Association Helicopter Association International International Air Transport Association International Brotherhood of Teamsters - Airline Division Modification and Replacement Parts Association National Air Carrier Association National Air Traffic Controllers Association National Air Transportation Association National Association of State Aviation Officials National Business Aviation Association Professional Aviation Maintenance Association Regional Airline Association Security Manufacturers Coalition Travelers United U.S. Travel Association Stay tuned for updates on the shutdown and the industry’s efforts to bring it to an end. How are You Impacted? Help ARSA Tell Your Story ARSA is gathering information about the impact the FAA shutdown is having on our members. (Click here to respond to the current “quick question” survey.) The association will use your response to help show Congress and the president the consequences for the maintenance industry. If you have questions or want to share more details about how the shutdown is impacting you please, contact ARSA using the member portal.
- Development of new air traffic control specialists not certified to work a position.
- Issuance of airmen certificates.
- Approval of exemptions for unmanned aerial systems operations.
- The FAA’s aircraft registry will close, delaying deliveries of new aircraft, and stopping the sale of used planes.
- Aviation rulemaking.
- Facility security inspections, evaluations, audits and inspections.
- Routine personnel security background investigations.
- Development, operational testing, and evaluation of NextGen technologies.
- Development of NextGen safety standards.
- Air traffic performance analysis.
- Capital planning for FAA facilities and equipment.
- Investment planning and financial analysis.
- Dispute resolution.
- Audit and evaluation.
- Financial operations, controls, reporting and accountability.
- Most budgeting functions (except those necessary to provide necessary services to offices funded with multi-year appropriations and contract authority).
- Employee drug testing program.
- Law enforcement assistance support.
- Most administrative support functions not required for support of life and safety “excepted” positions.
- Congressional liaison services.
- Air traffic control services.
- Maintenance and operation of navigational aids and other facilities, including support to reimbursable Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security activities.
- Flight Standards field inspections (limited).
- Airmen medical certifications.
- Aircraft certification services (limited).
- Hazardous materials safety inspections.
- Security information communication services.
- Continuity of Operations Planning.
- Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS) medical clearances.
- Air traffic safety oversight (limited).
- On-call accident investigations.
- Commercial space launch oversight.
- Command, control, and communications (i.e., Regions and HQ Operations Centers).
- Foreign relations on aviation safety-related matters.