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Flight Safety Not Affected By Partial FAA Shutdown

Flight safety is not affected by partial FAA shutdown, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says

Flight safety is not affected by partial FAA shutdown, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says

Officials have reported that the United States Federal Aviation Administration  could lose up to $1 billion in airline ticket taxes, because the agency was forced into partial shutdown on 23 July after its operating authority expired. This has resulted in over $200 million per week already lost because the airlines were not unable to collect the taxes, and as a result close to 4,000 FAA staff, including computer specialists and engineering technicians are on unpaid leave.

The House of Representatives which is controlled by the Republicans did pass legislation to keep the operating authority in place until the middle of September, along with some cuts, but the Senate democrats opposed these cuts. The Senate then went into recess on Tuesday until early September without voting on the bill.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had urged the Senate to pass the measures to end the shutdown, saying “We have heard many, many grandiose speeches by members of Congress about creating jobs and putting people to work. Well, this is not the way to put people to work, to lay off 70,000 construction workers in the middle of the construction season.” Because funding is no longer available, work has been stopped on over 200 airport projects, putting those construction workers out of work.

While airline passengers are not being forced to pay for the ticket taxes, estimated at about 10 per cent of ticket costs, many airlines increased their rates on 23rd July so ticket prices remain about the same, despite the savings on taxes.

LaHood has insisted that air traffic “safety will not be compromised”, and that all FAA safety inspectors are still working – however they will not be paid until this matter is resolved, which is expected to be in mid-September.

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Stacy is our most common contributor to the Travel section; with a lifelong travel bug, she and her friends are always looking for new travel experiences.

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