Local FAA Employees Working Without Pay


Paychecks have stopped for many federal workers due to the partial government shutdown, but their bills haven’t. 

“Go home and open up your mailbox, and there are bills in your mailbox, but no paycheck. Eventually that affects you,” said Rob Todaro, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists Vice President.

While planes fly, federal workers like Todaro keep an eye on the sky.

“The services we provide aren’t just local. We provide services to Northwest Arkansas, XNA, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale,” Todaro said.

Todaro and others maintain equipment at the Fort Smith Regional Airport control tower.

“We have to come to work, you can’t let those employees not come to work,” Todaro said. 

Fort Smith Regional Airport Director Michael Griffin said these workers are vital.

“The FAA, they are essential because they are the safety of the air traffic and air control,” Griffin said. 

Though the partial shutdown is impacting the lives of many employees, Griffin said there hasn’t been a lapse in operations. 

“They are still reporting to work and it is fortunate that they have quality employees on their staff so that things are operating as normal,” Griffin said. 

We reached out to the FAA, but no one was able to take our call due to the shutdown.  This situation is affecting more than just pay.

“Mortgages are due at the end of the month and some people have savings they can tap into, but some people aren’t as fortunate. That’s on your mind when you come to work,” Todaro said.

While the weight of the partial shutdown continues to loom, Todaro and others can only keep their eye on one thing.

“There has been talk about back pay, but that’s after the shutdown has ended, …the light at the end of the tunnel is the end of the shutdown,” Todaro said. 

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