Lawmakers in both houses of parliament in USA have proposed in legislation late this week that all federal personnel involved in aviation sector like traffic controllers, safety inspectors and other ground staff would be paid in full if there is another government shutdown. The proposal was mooted after a report emerged a couple of weeks ago that there was a severe shortage of air-traffic controllers that were working without pay during the recent government shutdown. The situation led to delay of flights across eastern part of United States and in the face of another shutdown looming on the horizon both ruling party and opposition members agreed to formulate this plan.
Now both political parties have to work together to resolve their issues and come up with a viable border security plan or face another shutdown. The shutdown affected the aviation industry the most as they had to work without pay and passengers had to stand on long queues at busy airports due to scarcity of transportation security administration screeners that were absent since a large number of them were furloughed. Several airlines were unable to receive timely approvals for new routes and aircrafts as safety inspectors had not been paid for almost a month.
As per the new bill a special fund would be created to pay salaries to federal airport personnel which includes 14000 ATC’s but this would not apply to transportation admin personnel since they work under jurisdiction of Dept of Homeland Security. This Airport and Airway Trust Fund will be fed by taxes from airline tickets, cargo and fuel which would ensure that federal personnel in critical duties would be stressed due financial issues. ATC Association’s President Paul Rinaldi supported the bill and said that its members feel stressed due to lack of salary and this situation would lead to both fatigue and distraction in staff which needs to be both calm and focused.