Shutdown Series: Impact on American Aerospace & Defense #3

On January 25, Congress passed a temporary funding bill through February 15 that President Trump signed into law. The end of the shutdown provides some relief to more than 800,000 federal employees who went unpaid for 35 days. For our industry, this means that key funding, essential employees, and necessary services that support our nation’s security and economy are back online.

Though a temporary solution is now in place, we will continue to highlight the shutdown’s impacts on A&D until a long-term deal is reached. Check out this week’s top stories:

Week of February 4

Local business bracing for possibility of second government shutdown – WGME-TV 13 (Portland, Maine)

A local Portland business, CUSA Consulting, is bracing for the possibility of a second government shutdown next week. CUSA employees normally work on projects for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but FAA has been keeping projects on hold pending certainty of funding going forward.

With government funding on hold, CUSA President Mark Thurston has been paying employees out of his own pocket to work on projects like building homes for Habitat for Humanity. A second shutdown would be extremely damaging according to company management.

G600 certification slips on back of US government shutdown – FlightGlobal

Gulfstream has pushed back certification and service entry of the G600, blaming the 35-day partial shutdown of the US government for the delay. Originally scheduled for early 2019, exact timing of validation for the G600 is now “hard to predict”, given the impact of the shutdown on the FAA.

Shutdown delays proposed revisions to launch licensing regulations – Space News

The partial government shutdown caused the FAA to miss a Feb. 1 deadline for releasing a draft of revised launch licensing regulations. An FAA spokesman told reporters that FAA was reassessing the timeline in light of the recent shutdown, but did not give a new schedule.

The government shutdown ended after only 10 air traffic controllers stayed homeCNN

The FAA was forced to slow down air traffic in some of the nation’s busiest airspace and issue a ground stop at New York City’s LaGuardia airport due to “a slight increase in sick leave at two air traffic control facilities affecting New York and Florida,” the agency said of January 25, the day the shutdown ended. Because aviation is so interconnected, a problem in one of the busiest parts of the country can cause a widespread ripple effect. After the FAA fixed its staffing issues on January 25, residual delays continued throughout the day. With another potential government shutdown less than two weeks away, National Air Traffic Controllers Association officials are concerned about the workforce.

NASA working to minimize shutdown impact to Springtime Orion abort testNASA Spaceflight.com

NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Air Force have resumed preparations for the Orion Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) test after the five-week long government shutdown disrupted work. The shutdown forced essentially the entire NASA civil servant workforce to be furloughed and most facilities closed, with some exceptions being made for ongoing mission operations and high-priority mission preparations where personnel had to keep working without pay. Although some work was able to be restarted before the shutdown ended, it is expected that the launch date for the test will be delayed a couple of weeks into mid-May.