FAA moves to bring back some furloughed employees

FAA moves to bring back some furloughed employees
© Getty

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday said it is recalling inspectors and engineers who have been furloughed during the partial government shutdown.

"We are recalling inspectors and engineers to perform duties to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace," an FAA spokesperson said in a statement. "We proactively conduct risk assessment, and we have determined that after three weeks it is appropriate to recall inspectors and engineers."

An agency official said roughly 2,200 inspectors and engineers have been recalled this week.


The FAA falls under the auspices of the Department of Transportation, which is among the federal agencies shuttered during the partial government shutdown that began Dec. 22 and is now in its 25th day. The shutdown became the longest in U.S. history on Saturday.

The Department of Transportation said in a plan of shutdown functions that 13,944 FAA employees have been furloughed.

About 31,000 agency workers remained on the job, the department said. Some of those positions are funded by multiyear appropriations bills, while others are safety-based roles, such as air traffic controllers, that are exempt from furlough during a shutdown.

In a Jan. 10 statement, the agency said it was “allocating resources based on risk assessment to meet all safety critical functions.”

“If we identify an issue, we recall inspectors and engineers to address it,” the agency said. “We sincerely thank FAA employees who are working to keep the traveling public and our skies safe.”

Hundreds of thousands of government workers have been furloughed or been required to work without pay amid the shutdown, which affects roughly 25 percent of the federal government.

An increased number of Transportation Security Administration workers have been absent amid the lapse in pay, though the agency says traveler safety has not been compromised.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE and lawmakers said federal workers will receive back pay once the government is fully reopened.