Shutdown Series: Impact on American Aerospace & Defense #2

As we wait for Congress and the Administration to pass the temporary funding announced earlier today, furloughed federal employees, businesses, contractors and their families are still waiting for relief.  

For over 800,000 federal employees, this past week meant another missed paycheck and hardships for their families. For the aerospace and defense industry, it was another week without essential employees, key funding and necessary services that support our nation’s security and economy.

While it looks like a temporary solution may soon be put in place, we will continue to highlight the shutdown’s impacts on A&D until the deal is signed. Check out this week’s top stories:

Week of January 21

Even giant federal contractors feeling shutdown’s bite Politico

Federal government employees are not the only people missing paychecks due to the government shutdown. Several federal contractors and consultants at companies like Boeing and Booz Allen Hamilton are also furloughed, as the agencies, research and projects they support lack the funding to operate.

While employees of the federal government will be eligible to receive backpay, federal contractors won’t be, so both large and small businesses and their employees could face significant financial hardship. As a result of payments not being made now – and payments that will not be made in the future – several smaller contractors have already had to lay off employees. If the shutdown does not end soon, the impacts will continue to trickle down into other aspects of the U.S. economy.

Flights delayed at major Northeast US airports because of staffing, FAA says CNN

Staffing shortages in the northeast have grounded and delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport. With the FAA furloughed, the regional air traffic control center cannot pay employees for their work, leading to the shortages. With no end in sight, flight delays may continue and extend to other regions as the shutdown stretches into February.

Unpaid NASA workers protect critical missions during government shutdownCBS News

As several missions are deemed critical – including support for the International Space Station, Hubble Telescope and the Mars 2020 rover – employees continue to work without pay. Along with missing paychecks, several key milestones for missions could be missed due to the lack of government funding.

NASA Delays Day of Remembrance for Space Heroes Due to Government ShutdownSpace.com

Each year, NASA remembers the brave men and women who sacrificed everything in the name of American space exploration and discovery. However, due to the shutdown, the celebration has been postponed; NASA employees would not be able to participate properly to commemorate the lives of those lost in tragedies like Apollo 1, the Challenger space shuttle, and the Columbia space shuttle.

Coast Guard Remains Without FundingAdmiral Karl Schultz (@ComdtUSCG)

The men and women of the Coast Guard, who continue their duty to protect our nation without pay, are forced to rely on food pantries and donations. As a military branch dedicated to protecting our nation, their families should not have to face these burdens.

The shutdown is also impacting the aerospace and defense industry’s ability to provide the Coast Guard with the appropriate resources to defend our nation. Investment programs – such as shipbuilding, radar and communications and more – cannot continue without the appropriate government funding.

AIA joins six-association statement on security clearancesAIA Blog

Federal employees who are missing paychecks because of the government shutdown could be penalized on security clearance applications, reinvestigations or continuous evaluations.

A key element of security clearance evaluations and determinations of trustworthiness is financial considerations. Federal employees and contractors that are missing paychecks as a result of the shutdown are in jeopardy of being unable to pay their bills, which would have negative impacts on their credit rating. Negative changes to a person’s credit rating are a key red flag for investigation among those holding or applying for clearances. AIA joined with six associations to support Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-VA) stance that these employees should not be penalized, and their security clearances should not be impacted.