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giftedviz.com January 19, 2019


Aviation workers say government shutdown 'needlessly risks' safety in the skies

12 January 2019, 06:01 | Austin Hogan

U.S. air travel concerns surface as gov't shutdown drags on

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Miami International Airport announced it would close one of its terminals for three days because an increasing number of Transportation Security Administration employees are refusing to continue to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

Closing of the security checkpoint at Terminal G is set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, in what would be the 22nd day of a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Other major airports surveyed by The Associated Press said they had no immediate plans to close terminals or take other drastic measures.

Terminal G is the slowest concourse at the airport, with about 12 planes a day flying out after 1pm.

TSA acknowledges that more screeners are calling in sick at some airports, including Dallas-Fort Worth International.

"Our inspectors are the oversight, they are the regulatory side of the house for the FAA", said Mike Perrone, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union. But once the security checkpoint closes, outbound passengers will have no access to the gates and the restaurants and shops that depend on departing flights for business will shut down, too, Chin said. Since then, hundreds of TSA workers from at least four major airports have called out sick, CNN reported. It also provides the Mobile Passport Control feature, which allows US citizens with a valid USA passport and Canadian citizens with a valid Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status to have their passport information processed by using their smartphone or tablet - and avoid the traditional checkpoint lanes - when arriving at MIA from overseas.

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Travelers should be advised to plan ahead if they do not want to miss their flights.

An airport spokesman told the Miami Herald that the security checkpoint at Terminal G would be closed beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday in order to send federal security screeners to busier checkpoints.

"Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown", AFGE TSA Council president Hydrick Thomas said in a statement on the AFGE website.

Unlike the controllers, TSA officers and other workers deemed essential, most federal employees are furloughed and haven't been working. And it's also just a good policy to be calm, polite, and courteous to airport workers who are helping you, especially knowing that they're doing it without pay.

"Yesterday, Jan 9, 2019, TSA experienced a rate of 5 per cent compared to a 3.6 per cent unscheduled absence rate one year ago on Jan 9, 2018", it said, lauding "the more than 51,000 officers across the country (who) remain focused on the mission".



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