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Ranks of Air Controllers Could Shrink More Because of Shutdown

  • Upgrade for satellite-based NextGen could also be delayed
  • Controllers’ union chief speaks at Washington aviation event
FAA To Close 149 U.S. Airport Towers In Automatic Budget Cuts
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

The 35-day partial government shutdown could spur early retirements among the already thin ranks of air-traffic controllers and may postpone adoption of critical satellite-based aircraft navigation, a union official warned.

It will take years to recover from the disruptions that resulted from people being kept off the job while safety-critical employees like controllers had to work without pay, Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said in a speech on Tuesday in Washington.