US Government shutdown affects airport operations

16 January 2019 (Last Updated January 16th, 2019 11:32)

Several airports in the US have been forced to closed terminals due to a shortage of security workers following the partial shutdown of the US Federal Government.

US Government shutdown affects airport operations
Airports in the US were forced to close terminals due to lack of TSA screeners. Credit: Erik Odiin on Unsplash.

Several airports in the US have been forced to closed terminals due to a shortage of security workers following the partial shutdown of the US Federal Government.

Airports affected include Miami International Airport in Florida and George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas.

Screeners employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are working without pay and many have called in sick or resigned, forcing George Bush International Airport to close its terminal B.

“Screeners employed by the TSA are working without pay and many have called in sick or resigned.”

Passengers at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have also had to wait in long queues to pass security.

The TSA said spontaneous absences of its passenger screeners reached 7.7% on 14 January, up 3.2% compared to last year.

Approximately 51,000 TSA agents are working without pay due to the shutdown. The TSA has said that it will offer a bonus of $500 to security officers who worked during the holiday travel season.

A TSA union official told CNN that some screeners have decided not to go to work as it was hurting them financially. Some are instead searching for temporary jobs to meet their regular financial needs.

The network was also told that officers are also calling in sick in protest as they are being forced to work without paychecks until the Trump administration and Congress reach a solution to end the shutdown.