With the threat of a government shutdown imminent, multiple federal agencies and employees are bracing for the potential for furloughed workdays and a loss of pay.
The deadline to avoid a shutdown is Oct. 1, and if Congress fails to pass funding legislation, some federal offices will also have to close or face shortened hours.
While a shutdown won’t affect your upcoming travel plans, it could disrupt flight operations making it a hectic experience for passengers at airports nationwide.
The U.S. Travel Association explains on its website that when a shutdown occurs, the U.S. air travel system is affected by more flight delays, longer passenger screening lines and setbacks in air travel modernization. The agency noted that the travel sector could lose $140 million daily in a shutdown.
A shutdown would also halt funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection.
Separately, employees at the TSA, Customs and Border Protection, and air traffic controllers are considered essential employees, and they would continue working during a shutdown.
But if a funding bill is not passed before the Oct. 1 deadline, the FAA would have to furlough roughly 17,000 workers and stop training, Reuters reported.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the Associated Press that new training for air traffic controllers will be halted, and another 1,000 controllers in the midst of training will be furloughed. Even a shutdown that lasts a few days will mean the department won't hit its hiring and staffing targets for next year, he said.
The last time a government shutdown occurred was between 2018 and 2019, and it lasted 35 days when then-President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats entered a standoff over his demand for funding for a border wall, the AP noted.
During this time, air traffic controllers called out sick, which became the push for Congress to take action during the funding impasse, USA Today reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.