Sen. Markey: Government shutdown jeopardizing air travel safety

Sen. Markey: Government shutdown jeopardizing air travel safety

BOSTON — Air traffic safety officials are waving red flags at Boston Logan International Airport. After 28 days of the government shutdown, safety experts are warning it is more dangerous to fly now than before the shutdown began.

Air traffic controller Mick Devine had a warning that should scare anyone flying out of Logan.

"It is not as safe to fly as it was four weeks ago and it's getting exponentially worse the longer the shutdown goes on," said Devine.

Content Continues Below

Devine is one of 20,000 air traffic controllers working without pay and struggling to get by.

Sen. Ed Markey held a news conference Friday with Logan's FAA and TSA safety workers. Markey said every day during the shutdown, around six percent of TSA workers, or 2,000 workers, call out from work.

Logan officials are worried the increase in absences will lead to more mistakes at the airport.

"As a result of his shutdown, President Trump is jeopardizing air travel safety and the financial safety of thousands of hardworking government employees," said Markey.

Greg Clark is a professional aviation safety specialist. With no end to the shutdown in sight, Clark says it's as easy as going to your bank or bill collector for help.

"Morale is at an all-time low and stress is at an all-time high," said Clark. "When they ask, well how long do you need? What do we tell them? They say five days? That doesn't help. It's already been 28 days now."

A recent public opinion poll found Americans are not happy about the shutdown. According to a PBS Newshour/Marist poll, seven in ten Americans feel that shutting down the government in order to reach an agreement on policy is a bad strategy.