The definition of terms of essential versus non-essential travel employees has come with a few surprises during the partial government shutdown. The FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Department of Homeland Security have had to furlough more than 40,000 employees combined.
For the FAA, that means 15,000 employees furloughed, approximately on third of its work force. Air traffic controllers are working, but the staff that trains employees are not. Nor are the staff working to develop new programs like NextGen. Also, close to 3,000 aviation safety inspectors are being furloughed by the FAA. It was so drastic that union officials initially thought the FAA had made a mistake when they got the notice.
Today, these cuts have yet to create a problem. But in the long term, there will be an issue with safety. It’s not just the FAA who has been told that safety inspections are non-essential. There have been similar cutback for our highways and bridges. Follow along as Peter Greenberg joins the team at CBS This Morning to examine the definition of terms of what is deemed essential and non-essential for our travel safety during the government shutdown.
Don’t miss our complete report of the full impact of the government shutdown on travel.