As of Saturday, Dec. 22, at 12:01 a.m. EST, federal appropriations authority for certain federal agencies and departments, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lapsed, and those agencies and departments shut down for the third time in the 2018 calendar year.
Unfortunately, no government funding agreement has been reached so the partial shutdown continues. At this time, we do not know how long the shutdown will last but continue to monitor the negotiations and will provide updated information as we receive it.
The FAA provided notice to NATCA that it shut down activities funded out of the operations budget (Ops) effective on Dec. 24, 2018, at 12:01 a.m. EST. Non-excepted employees should have received a furlough notice. Excepted employees are expected to continue to report for duty. All paid leave has been cancelled. Employees on an authorized absence from duty during the shutdown will be placed in a furlough status for the duration of the absence. An employee's excepted status does not change based on an intermittent or temporary furlough status.
We expect to receive notice from the FAA that it will shut down activities funded out of the facilities and equipment budget (F&E) effective on Dec. 27, 2018, at 12:01 a.m. EST. At that time, non-excepted employees who are paid out of the F&E budget should receive a furlough notice. Excepted employees are expected to continue to report for duty. All paid leave will be cancelled. Employees on an authorized absence from duty during the shutdown will be placed in a furlough status for the duration of the absence. An employee's excepted status does not change based on an intermittent or temporary furlough status.
We have been informed by the FAA that activities funded out of the Franchise Fund have approximately 20 days of funds available. Functions funded out of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and the FAA's research, engineering, and development budget (RE&D) are not affected by the current lapse in appropriations.
Many of you are rightfully concerned about if and when you will receive a paycheck. All employees will receive a regular paycheck for the period covering Dec. 9, 2018 through Dec. 22, 2018, on Dec. 31, 2018. The FAA will continue to incur obligations to pay for services performed by excepted employees during this lapse in appropriations, and those employees will be paid after Congress passes, and the President signs, a new appropriation or continuing resolution. This includes all premium pay (e.g. night differential, CIC, OJTI, Sunday) and overtime. Congress and the President will determine whether employees who were in a furlough status during the shutdown will receive pay for the furlough period.
However long this shutdown lasts, it reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. The National Airspace System (NAS) requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support: air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects. The constant funding crises that arise from stop-and-go funding continue to wreak havoc on our system and perpetuate the current staffing crisis, which has resulted in a 30-year low of certified professional controllers.
If you are excepted and working without certainty about whether you will receive a paycheck for pay period 1, we t
hank you very much for your amazing, supremely dedicated work to ensure the NAS remains the world's safest. We want to acknowledge those who have been forced to choose between taking time off with their families during the holiday, perhaps for plans made long ago, and being placed in a furlough status. Thank you for your solidarity to one another as many NATCA brothers and sisters are furloughed because they are on the non-excepted list. NATCA staff and activists are working hard advocating for funding stability and will work to mitigate the negative effects on our membership.