Air traffic controller tower at the SWFL International Airport. Photo via WINK News.
Air traffic controller tower at the SWFL International Airport. Photo via WINK News.

Unpaid air traffic controllers plead for an end of the government shutdown

Inside the Southwest Florida International Airport, security lines keep moving, even though the Transportation Security Administration workers are not getting compensated.

“They need to pay their mortgages, they need to buy their food, they need to pay stuff for the kids,”┬ásaid Noreen Traxler, a passenger. “I just think it’s a shame.”

Air traffic controllers continue to monitor the skies from an onsite tower, but Ross Costa said they are feeling the impact.

“It’s tough,” Costa said. “It’s a stressful job and the shutdown is actually just adding stress to the personal lives of the controllers.”

“We are constantly evolving,” Costa said. “The National Airspace System is the most complex in the world and we need that support in order to make the proper changes so we can address safety concerns and safety issues.”

Costa and other air traffic controllers distributed pamphlets Monday in the effort to inform travelers of the current situation, such as Tony Merendino.

“Our government needs to work; they’re not working,” Merendino said. “Everybody is in their corner and they won’t come out in the middle and meet so.”

Costa and others encourage everyone to contact lawmakers to end the shutdown.

 

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Michael Mora
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