Transportation Security Administration employees at Nebraska airports and elsewhere are still required to report to work even though they are included in the partial government shutdown and may not be getting their next paycheck.
Aviation analyst and former airline executive Jay Ratliff says so far, the security check lines are moving smoothly. He says, “I think right now we are okay. I think if it continues in time we could be looking at an issue. Most of the TSA agents received their last paycheck last Friday and some of them right now are taking their earned vacation time or sick days, if you will, to go out and earn some money so that they can pay their bills and go from there.
Ratliff does not see a reduction in safety. He says there could be a reduction in processing time at checkpoints. However, the longer the shutdown goes the more that could become an issue.
Those flying in or out of Nebraska should plan accordingly. Ratliff says those traveling during the shutdown should get to the airport early. Those flights will leave on time no matter what so it is up to individuals to get through that the security screenings on time.
Ratliff says, “Right now it is a minor issue but the longer it goes it could become more of an issue if some of these highly trained individuals quit and we are faced with the task of hiring and re-training to fill those open slots.”