The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) president Joe DePete has written to Donald Trump urging him to end the shutdown that he said is adversely impacting the US national airspace system.
The partial US government shutdown began last month when Congress and the President Trump failed to reach an agreement over a budget bill in December. He wants funding to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Yesterday, the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives voted to end a partial government shutdown – but the move looks certain to be vetoed by President Trump who said he will reject any measure that does not cash for the wall.
Trump’s Republicans had passed an initial funding bill including $5 billion for the wall, when they still had a majority in the House, but they could not get the 60 votes needed in the 100-seat Senate.
Speaking on behalf of the 61,000 pilots of ALPA In a letter to the White House he said: “I am writing to urge you to take the necessary steps to immediately end the shutdown of government agencies that is adversely affecting the safety, security and efficiency of our national airspace system.
“The nation’s airspace system is a complex transportation network that involves government and industry partnerships to function properly, and the disruptions being caused by the shutdown are threatening the safe operations of this network.
“The government agency partners in the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have dual roles. They are both regulators and service providers.
“When any of their responsibilities are placed on pause due to a shutdown there are safety, security and efficiency gaps that immediately emerge.”