Jan 9, 2019

In the days since the Dec. 21 start of the most recent partial government shutdown, some of the most devastating impacts from previous shutdowns have been eliminated or muted.

For example, thanks to a concerted effort by NBAA and other general aviation groups, language was included in last year’s FAA reauthorization bill keeping the agency’s aircraft registry open. Read more about the FAA reauthorization bill.

That said, the weeks-long shutdown has slowed or halted some services provided by the FAA and other agencies.

  • Pilot applicants aren’t able to take the FAA written exams.
  • Non-essential functions of Flight Standards District Offices appear to be suspended, such as modifying letters of authorization and seeking new authorizations.
  • Operators of aircraft that are undergoing maintenance and need a ferry permit, or aircraft that are being imported and need a special flight permit, are experiencing increased difficulty with securing required permissions.
  • Foreign commercial operators seeking new service to the U.S. can’t get authorization to conduct flights in the U.S. because the Department of Transportation office that processes foreign air carrier applications is not operating.

General aviation also will be impacted in certification of aircraft, equipment, simulators and other approvals. In addition, companies that provide training for pilots could be affected. These training providers need certain qualifications, which they could lose due to the shutdown. That could halt pilot training and may prevent aircraft from having the necessary crews to operate.

“General aviation is among the nation’s most regulated industries, with daily oversight and essential services provided by a host of federal agencies,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “These disruptions to services are already visible, and if history is a guide, the impact from the shutdown could increase as the shutdown continues. Like all aviation stakeholders, we want the president and Congress to come to an agreement that ends the shutdown, and restores the critical services needed by the aviation community.”

Another program adversely affected by the shutdown is the Global Entry program – the Department of Homeland Security has canceled all interviews for travelers trying to enroll in Global Entry, which provides access to faster airport security lines.

The shutdown has also slowed progress on implementation of the FAA’s new Data Comm communications system, which replaces some voice communications between air traffic controllers and pilots with text messages.

NBAA has prepared a message members can send to their elected representatives calling for an end to the shutdown. View and send the message.

View NBAA’s government shutdown resource page for complete information on the impact of the shutdown.