US airport inspectors work without pay

2011-08-02 10:00

kalahari.com

  • Air Travel and Health
    ir Travel and Health offers guidance to engineers designing aircraft in the difficult field of... Now R1,206.00
    buy now

New York - Airport safety inspectors across the United States are working without pay and shouldering travel expenses themselves as the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) budget crisis enters a second week, transportation officials said on Monday.

The 40 inspectors are in charge of regular checks covering runways, navigation aids and other systems at dozens of airports and airlines. A typical inspector may travel to five airports in a two-week period and rack up thousands of dollars in hotel and airline tickets, FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said on Monday.

"We're asking for them to put the balance on their credit cards," Babbitt said on Monday. "It's not right to ask them to do that, it's just not."

Republicans late on Monday blocked a bipartisan US Senate plan to end the partial shutdown of the FAA. Congress is expected to leave at the end of the week for its August recess, making it increasingly likely it will be unable to resolve the legislative standoff before September.

The inspectors are among 4 000 FAA employees furloughed on July 22 after Congress refused to authorise FAA spending in a dispute over union provisions and subsidies to support airline service at smaller airports.

The freeze has forced work to stop on about $2.5bn in construction projects and forced the layoffs of thousands of construction workers, the FAA says.

Jobs held hostage

On Monday, Babbitt and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited New York's La Guardia airport, where work has stopped on a $6m project to demolish an old control tower. The old tower blocks the view from a new control tower built a few hundred metres away.

LaHood said there was little progress on resolving the standoff over the weekend, but he hoped Congress would turn its attention to the FAA budget after reaching a tentative deal on Sunday to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

"Debt and deficit was resolved yesterday afternoon. Now Congress needs to focus on putting FAA workers and construction workers back to work," LaHood said. "Do not hold people's jobs hostage for things that can be worked out."

In addition to the furloughs and halted projects, the shutdown means the FAA cannot collect the $30m a day normally imposed on airline tickets through federal taxes. But there has been no benefit to airline passengers because airlines have raised their fares by the same amount.

Over the weekend several lawmakers sent letters to airline trade groups and CEOs asking them to roll back the increases. Airlines also hiked their prices during similar tax holidays in 1996 and 1997, and they were allowed to keep the money afterward.

At LaGuardia, the shutdown has halted a $10m project to install security barriers in front of LaGuardia's main terminal, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport.

Taken off guard


At nearby John F Kennedy Airport, crews have stopped work on an $8m project to rehabilitate Taxiway Y, which connects two of the airfield's four runways.

Babbitt said airport workers would secure construction sites at dozens of halted projects to ensure that equipment and debris do not blow onto runways. Air traffic controllers remained at work.

Furloughed engineering technician Gerard Cook said the shutdown took employees off guard and many families were not prepared to go without pay checks. With a new month beginning, many will be struggling to pay their rent and other bills, he said.

- AP

Read more on:    us  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANC set for two-thirds majority - poll

The ANC is on course to win nearly a two-thirds majority in 7 May elections, a poll has showed, confounding analysts who had predicted a fall in support for the ruling party.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.