The aviation community is bracing for the prospect of another government shutdown as Congress remains deadlocked over Planned Parenthood funding. The U.S. government is funded through September 30, leaving Congress little time to clear appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on October 1. House and Senate lawmakers have drafted a stopgap measure that would temporarily fund the government, but a dispute over whether to cut off Planned Parenthood funding is threatening progress on this measure.
NBAA told members it is monitoring developments closely given the potential for significant ramifications to the business aviation industry. When the government shut down in 2013, the FAA furloughed more than 15,000 employees and shuttered the aircraft registry in Oklahoma City. This halted all business aircraft transactions, title searches and other necessary activities for aircraft financing and sales. The move to close the registry was unprecedented, since it had remained open through previous shutdowns. NBAA warned that a similar situation could occur during this shutdown, should it occur.
A number of other aviation functions were affected during the 2013 shutdown, including ATC modernization efforts, aeromedical case reviews and import/export of aircraft. Further, a number of FAA safety inspectors were furloughed. Air traffic control functions, however, were deemed essential and continued operating.