The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA), as the global professional voice of Air Traffic Controllers, is very concerned about the safety implications of the continuing partial government shutdown in the United States of America. This shutdown has resulted in safety critical personnel such as Air Traffic Controllers and supporting areas working without remuneration since late December.
Air traffic control is a safety critical task where the responsibilities of Air Traffic Controllers demand that they can fully concentrate on their tasks and perform their function without unnecessary distractions. As the shutdown drags on, an increasing number of these safety professionals are likely to experience growing anxiety from the effects the government shutdown has on their private life.
"The increased safety implications of having distracted and stressed controllers working their full rosters and handling full traffic loads, in these conditions, is obvious”, said Mr. Patrik Peters, President and CEO of IFATCA.
"Whilst recognising and respecting the outstanding professionalism of the US controllers continuing to work under such duress, the current situation cannot be allowed to continue and deteriorate. Safety critical aviation professionals working for no pay would not be tolerated in any nation and is certainly not expected in a leading nation like the USA” added Mr. John Carr, the IFATCA Executive Vice-President for the Americas region.
On behalf of over 50,000 Air Traffic Controllers around the world, IFATCA calls upon the United States Congress and the Trump Administration to end the partial shutdown, and allow the US national airspace system to function with full integrity.