The air traffic controllers who staff the Boston Logan Tower remain on the job as the federal government shutdown enters day 18 but “do not know when they will next be paid,” and six new arrivals and a support staffer have been furloughed, according to their union.
The furloughed employees “either arrived as a new hire or transferred in from another facility and have not yet trained on the job to the point of being certified to work traffic on any positions,” said Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “Thus, the FAA furloughed them. They are at home without pay. Even when the shutdown ends, they would only get back pay reimbursement of this time through an act of Congress.”
Church said via e-mail that the six furloughed controllers are among 351 similarly situated employees kept off the job nationwide.
Meanwhile, he said, “the fully certified controllers at Boston’s Logan Airport are required to remain on the job and continue working but do not know when they will next be paid. The shutdown has to end first. If it does not end before this Friday ... controllers at Boston and nationwide will go without a scheduled paycheck for the first time ever. This Saturday, if the shutdown is still ongoing, it would mark the longest shutdown in U.S. history.”
Representatives for the FAA and Logan International Airport couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
In a statement when the shutdown began, the FAA said air traffic control “is fully operational and there is no impact to safety or FAA oversight for travelers. The Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) and Drone Zone are operational. Due to the lapse in funding, posts to our website and social media accounts will be limited.”