Shutdown Series: Impact on American Aerospace and Defense

The longest government shutdown in American history continues to be an unconscionable burden for hundreds of thousands of federal employees and their families.   

The effects of the shutdown are steadily increasing, including for the aerospace and defense industry. With government employees either furloughed or forced to work without pay, essential positions and operations that facilitate our industry’s work to support the nation’s defense and support the American economy are at a standstill.

In this space, we’ll share updates on the effects of the shutdown on the A&D industry until the government is fully funded again.

In the interest of thousands of hard-working families, our national security, and our economy, Congress and the Administration must come to an immediate compromise and fully fund the government.

Week of January 14

Government Shutdown Slows Exports of Sensitive U.S. MaterialsWall Street Journal

American companies are unable to export sensitive materials because they cannot obtain the required licenses from the furloughed Department of Commerce and Department of State. Without these licenses, members within the aerospace and defense industry cannot deliver on contracts with key allies and partners, including airplane parts and optical lenses for telescopes.

As the Government Shutdown Drags On, Security Risks IntensifyWired

Thanks to previously allocated funding for the Department of Defense, most intelligence and law enforcement work is not impacted by the shutdown. However, critical cybersecurity structures –  like Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – have limited staff and resources, heightening the risk of an attack on our nation. With a growing number of threats online, America needs fully staffed teams dedicated to our cybersecurity interests.

FAA recalls thousands of furloughed employeesPolitico

The potential impact of the shutdown on American aviation is so severe that the Federal Aviation Administration recalled thousands of safety inspectors and other employees back to work to ensure the wellbeing of passengers, pilots, and our airspace. The operations and assessments conducted by these men and women are necessary for safe air travel, but they’re still going without pay for their work.

FAA tech issue kills aircraft deals until shutdown endsCorporate Jet Investor

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 deemed the Aircraft Registry Office in Oklahoma City exempt in the event of a shutdown, allowing several men and women in the office to update records necessary for aircraft transactions. There’s just one problem: the registry system is facing technical issues, and the employees able to fix it in Kansas City are furloughed. Without the system, it’s impossible to complete these transactions, which are now halted until the government is fully funded.