What was the effect of the partial shutdown of the federal government on the aviation industry?
The United States federal government went into a partial shutdown mode in October as a result of the budget impasse. This has brought about the delay in the deliveries of some 156 airplanes worth $1.9 billion, as reported this month by the Management and Budget Office of the United States.
FAAR Not Spared
The federal government shutdown which took place from October 1 to 17 had caused delays in the sale and delivery of aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Registration (FAAR) office was closed for the duration of the government shutdown, with employees furloughed. It was different from previous shutdowns which regarded the office as essential and as such was spared from the shutdown. Currently, the FAA is still working its way to clearing up the backlog of delayed registrations.
Busiest Shipment Season
The government shutdown had its effects rippling through every kind of business contributing to the US economy. For its part, the aviation industry could have had a better time for the shutdown as the fourth quarter of the year is by tradition, the busiest shipment season. Aircraft manufacturers are clearing their annual orders by this time. Aircraft buyers want their airplanes in time for soft launching before the New Year is ushered in. The fourth quarter is essentially, bustling with business activities for this particular industry.
It is at this time of year when major aircraft manufacturers as well as the small players keep their manufacturing activities steadily progressing, as they plot their last quarter deliveries for the year. Most aircraft manufacturers double or triple the use of speed fastening systems in order to meet the aircraft’s target completion schedules.
Aircraft Registration Process Halted
And while the aircraft manufacturers were able to meet their deadlines to comply with the committed delivery schedules, there was no one in the FAAR office to handle the registration process for each aircraft due for delivery. The federal government shutdown practically caused the FAAR to come to a grinding halt.
Business Aviation: Most Affected By Federal Government Shutdown
Ed Bolen, CEO and President of the National Business Aviation Association explained at a rally at Capitol Hill during the shutdown that amongst the many industries affected by the federal government shutdown, business aviation has had the direst impact. And this is due to the fact that business aviation is more regulated than other industries. Without the required FAA registration process, no aircraft will ever reach its rightful destination.
Coping With The 16-Day Shutdown Backlog
With the lifting of the federal government shutdown, the FAAR and those in business aviation have to deal with trying to speed up the registration process in order to facilitate the delivery of all 156 airplanes already past their deadline. And like the other sectors that suffered severe blows from the shutdown, the aviation industry tries to cope up with the crippling 16-day shutdown backlog.
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