The Government Shutdown:
As many will know not only domestically, but international, the United States of America has been undergoing one of the longest government shutdowns in history. Under a disagreement between both parties over funding a wall construction across the Mexico/US border, the government has ceased payment to government positions such as the TSA. In terms of aviation this has cause a delay in customs checking and longer queues through the states. The question however is what’s the effect on private aviation? It’s been head lining constantly how passengers arrive are now arriving hours before for a domestic flight, but with private flights does this mean higher costs? The short answer is no.
As mentioned by the NCAA (National Business Aviation Association), the shutdown resulted in suspensions to critical air field function such as traffic control, safety oversight and FAA registry. In accordance to flight operations, aircrafts must be legal registered with the FAA to be insured but also valid to flight. The shutdown has seen a staggering 18,000 FAA workers involved in activities such as aircraft insurance certificates and NextGen development take time from their jobs as a result of the shutdown. While it has been stated that the process of registration and registration renewals will not be affected, there are delays in some areas of safety checking. On the 15th January the FAA announced a resumption of employees to safety critical roles, the report did indicate that only existing checks would be undertaken leaving no room for new jobs. This means that the introduction of a new aircraft or a pilot certification would likely not go through. For private jets this shouldn’t affect too much. In summary it just means that operations would have to work with the given flights and pilots, and until the government resumes or further announcement new aircrafts would have to wait.
According to the FAA customs and border protection will not cause too much of a problem, however with the exemption of being late. This is common even with an open government in place. In conclusion although the shutdown is present aviation fields have been operating adequately due to the dedication of TSA and official in serving their role without the guarantee of income. The trump administration has placed a hold with the shutdown furloughing 13% of homeland security. The main areas of impact for travel in general are the potential delays in customs. In Miami there was a temporary shutdown of a major terminal which result in lines for travel, however many of these issues can be avoided by taking a private jet. The areas that do impact private jets take on the form of air traffic control. With the ever-evolving problems with the FAA and TSA there may be issues that impact private jet travel, however at this present moment the form of travel has been somewhat untouched. The advice with traveling is choose a private jet company that has a reliable flight with reputation and no problems should arise even with the shutdown.
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