Posted by- Neelam Mathews
July 20, 2011
A quarrel between the House and Senate over union organizing by airline and railroad workers could lead to a shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. Its operating authority expires on July 22.
There are concerns. What happens if this process isn’t completed? Does it mean that the nation’s entire network of airports have to shut down?
Having operated under a series of 20 short-term extensions since Sept., 2007, FAA's 15,500 air traffic controllers are essential employees and will continue to work even if the agency's operating authority were to expire. In addition, the agency employs about 32,000.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was quoted saying it was likely other workers would face cuts.
In the event of a shutdown, airlines would no longer have to collect ticket taxes, which average about $60 per round-trip ticket, aviation industry officials said.