FAA workers worried about future of agency due to partial government shutdown
The Federal Aviation Administration is one agency being impacted by the partial government shutdown.
Employees are bracing to miss a second pay check, while union workers worry about the lasting effects on the agency.
The FAA is at a minimum staff level, which means it can function. But the agency cannot hire or train employees who work in air traffic control.
Union representative John Manley says they've had to close their academy in Oklahoma City, adding this shutdown could have long-lasting implications.
"The shutdown needs to end. It's one thing to play politics with our paychecks, it’s one thing to play with the people who are providing a service, but this affects the whole airspace system,” Manley said.
Manley has worked in air traffic control at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport for eight years.
He missed his last paycheck and continues to work without pay along with his team.
But that's not what worries Manley the most about the partial government shutdown.
"A huge aspect of this is the harm that they are doing to the air traffic control system as a whole. This will have ripple effects throughout the rest of my career,” Manley said.
Manley is supporting his seven children by picking up extra shifts as an Uber driver, but he worries about his coworkers.
"I do believe there are controllers we have here in Chattanooga who will be in a pretty dire financial situation if we miss another paycheck,” Manley said.
Manley says his department is keeping morale up the best they can and trying to take it day by day.
"But most of the jokes that we are making right now have to do with the shutdown. It has to do with the lack of paychecks. And so, there are jokes being made about what we are going to do if we miss another paycheck, and to think there is truth behind some of those,” Manley said.
Manley and his team received a visit on Tuesday from Frank Miller and the Mizpah Congregation, which collected gift card donations to hand out to FAA workers.
Manley says he greatly appreciated the gesture.
Stay with the WRCB app for continuing coverage of the partial government shutdown.