Transportation Secretary LaHood: FAA Shutdown Would Result In ‘Immediate Furlough’ Of 4,000 Workers

The shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration that will occur Friday night if Congress does not reach a deal to extend its authorization would result in the “immediate furlough” of 4,000 workers, bring a halt to $2.5 billion in airport construction projects, and cost the government about $200 million a week in lost airline ticket taxes, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on a conference call Thursday. Previously, FAA reauthorization has sailed through Congress 20 times, but Republicans have ground the process to a halt with the inclusion of an anti-union measure this year. LaHood called on Congress to pass a clean re-authorization bill — preferably to cover the next five to six years, he said — before the FAA shuts down at close of business tomorrow. “This is just not the right way to run America’s aviation system,” LaHood said.