WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Monday marked the start of week three of the partial government shutdown leaving 800,000 federal employees anxious.
Hundreds of TSA screeners in major airports have been calling in sick, meaning air travel could be less secure and wait times could be affected. The Wichita Falls Regional Airport Administrator, Jon Waltjen told us off camera that’s not the case here.
In fact, he said when flights are cancelled they’re usually off but last week during the winter storm TSA employees were working. However, that hasn’t been the case in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
While the TSA public affairs office is closed due to “the Lapse in Federal Funding,” a TSA spokesman tweeted last week, 5.5 percent of the TSA workforce at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport called out on Friday, compared to 3.5 percent on a normal day.
On Monday, TSA tweeted nationwide, TSA screened approximately 2.22 million passengers on Sunday, a historically busy day due to holiday travel. They explained how long the wait was and how grateful they are for more than 51,000 agents across the country who “remain focused on the mission and are respectful to the traveling public as they continue the important work necessary to secure the nations transportation system.”
A Wichita Falls resident along with others we talked to at the airport tell us this is unfair, but they’re thankful they continue to show up to work everyday. Last week, President Donald Trump said the government shutdown could last months or even years.
The president of the Air Line Pilots Association wrote a letter to President Trump urging him to take the necessary steps to immediately end the shutdown and that it’s “adversely affecting the safety security and efficiency of our national airspace system.”