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Air Projects in Holding Pattern

Congressional impasse leaves FAA projects on hold, workers furloughed

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August 3, 2011 | by Brendan Cosgrove

Listen to commentary from Northwestern aviation analyst Aaron Gellman

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is urging Congress to return from its summer recess in an effort to end a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. More than 4,000 FAA employees and 70,000 contract workers have been furloughed for almost two weeks after Congress failed to reauthorize most funding for the agency in a partisan spat.

While the shutdown hasn’t impacted frontline air traffic control systems, it has halted numerous airport improvement projects and the collection of millions in federal excise taxes tacked onto airline tickets purchased in the United States.

In this audio commentary, Aaron Gellman, aviation analyst and professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University, discusses some of the reasons behind the shutdown and what impact it might have on the future of aviation in the country.

Topics: Opinion