The federal government reopened Thursday, ending a 16-day shutdown that kept a vital tool to the aviation industry closed, FAA’s Aircraft Registry Office.
During the shutdown, FAA furloughed more than 15,000 of its employees, while keeping air traffic controllers and other vital staff working without pay. Although the agency returned its employees to work Thursday, the damage to the industry has already been done, as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports 156 aircraft deliveries valued at $1.9 billion were delayed due to the shutdown.
“We are pleased our nation’s political leaders finally reached an agreement to end the shutdown, but the work now begins to get the Registry office and other critical FAA functions back up to full speed immediately,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA.
At this point it is unclear as to when the registry will be fully restored to its pre-shutdown operation level.
GAMA is now reaching out to the agency to ensure that the rest of the fourth quarter deliveries remain on schedule, after a significant backlog for registrations piled up over the course of the shutdown.
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) CEO Ed Bolen also welcomed the end of the shutdown. According to a statement from NBAA, Bolen spoke directly with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta as the agreement by lawmakers to reopen the government was being finalized.
“The agreement to end the shutdown runs until the end of 2013, and it is part of a larger, ongoing fiscal-policy debate in Washington,” Bolen said. “That means we may be looking at the same circumstances that led to this shutdown in the not-too-distant future. As always, we will need to remain vigilant, and our industry will need to be ready to mobilize, just as the business aviation community did when the devastating impacts of this shutdown became clear.”