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Government Shutdown Crisis Over, For Now
The partial federal government shutdown ended far short of its goal of overturning parts of President Obama's healthcare law. Through it, aviation suffered the brunt of Washington's self-inflicted crisis after the FAA Aircraft Registry in Oklahoma City closed on October 1. That office can now reopen, but it will take some time before services at the FAA and other agencies are fully restored to their pre-shutdown effectiveness. And who knows when the next crisis will flare up.
While news of the agreement to reopen the government and avert a default on government debt was welcomed by aviation leaders, some warned that the situation that just played out could be repeated soon. "The agreement to end the shutdown runs until the end of 2013, and it is part of a larger, ongoing fiscal-policy debate in Washington," said National Business Aviation Association president Ed Bolen. "That means we may be looking at the same circumstances that led to this shutdown in the not-too-distant future. As always, we will need to remain vigilant, and our industry will need to be ready to mobilize, just as the business aviation community did when the devastating impacts of this shutdown became clear."
The shutdown prevented sales transactions of new and used airplanes, and could have impacted aircraft registrations set to expire at the end of October had the shutdown dragged on past the end of the month.
Bolen said he spoke directly with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta as the debt limit agreement was being voted on by Congress to warn about the impact of closing the FAA Registry should the government shut down again.
Huerta will be a featured speaker at next week's NBAA Convention in Las Vegas.