As the government shutdown sets a new record for duration, NBAA is learning more about the impact on business aviation. Since the shutdown began Dec. 21, many of the problems encountered from previous shutdowns have been avoided, in part because the FAA aircraft registry has remained open, preserving most critical services. NBAA and other aviation organizations advocated for inclusion of language in last year’s FAA reauthorization bill to keep the registry open. Read more about the FAA reauthorization bill.
However, it is clear that the shutdown’s impact is being felt. This week, the FAA announced that many aviation safety inspectors would be returning to work, but details are still emerging as to what functions they will be able to perform. With the primary focus on safety surveillance, inspectors might not be able to perform new certification activities or other administrative functions.
In addition, the following FAA-related shutdown impacts have been reported to NBAA:
- Issuance of new pilot certificates or type ratings is not occurring during the shutdown.
- Functions deemed to be “administrative,” such as issuance of letters of authorization, or changes to existing authorizations are not occurring.
- Training centers are concerned that authorizations for evaluators and flight training devices could expire without necessary FAA renewals.
- Customs and Border Protection is not processing requests for new overflight exemptions.
As NBAA has previously noted, general aviation also will be impacted in certification of aircraft, equipment, simulators and other approvals. There are also impacts at Customs and Border Protection, where border overflight exemptions are not being processed, and staff who manage the advance passenger information system have been furloughed.
“Since the partial government shutdown began on Dec. 21, our nation’s aviation system has functioned safely and efficiently thanks to the hard work of dedicated FAA professionals,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen in an update bulletin sent to members on Jan. 17. “That said, general aviation is a highly regulated industry, so it’s no surprise that some service disruptions are becoming visible.
“The association has joined with other industry groups in calling for an end to the shutdown, and we will continue to do so,” Bolen said, pointing to a recent letter NBAA signed with more than 30 other aviation organizations asking the president and Congress to find a way to bring an end to the situation. Read the industry letter from NBAA and others about the shutdown.
Bolen added that NBAA has also prepared a message members can send to their elected representatives calling for an end to the shutdown. View and send the message.