Effects of government shutdown being felt at local airport

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) As the partial government shutdown continues, the effects are being felt in Central Texas.

At the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport, Transportation Security Administration workers did not receive a paycheck. They are part of the 800,000 federal workers who did not get paid Friday.

On Thursday, TSA says that 5.1 percent of workers had unscheduled absences on Jan. 10 compared to 3.3 percent one year ago on the same day.

In Killeen, airport officials said business is normal and security checkpoints are open – without any issues.

“Our officers’ right here are very dedicated to our airport and I think they are very dedicated to their job and what they do. They realize how important it is and what they're doing, so they're willing at this point to do their jobs,” Executive Director of Aviation Matthew Van Valkenburgh said.

“I can't talk for other airports and how it's impacting them, I’ll just say our officers, once again their dedication is very much appreciated by us and we will support them any way we can at the same time."

Another concern, Van Valkenburgh says, is with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has to approve several grants and studies for the airport before any construction can start.

With the current shutdown, a delay could be possible.

“One is through a supplemental appropriation program, it's an extra $1 billion Congress gave to the Federal Aviation Administration. We are one of the airports that is eligible to ask for those funds and we think that we have a very good opportunity to get those funds,” Van Valkenburgh said.

The grant would fix the taxiway on Robert Gray Army Airfield.

For now, employees and airport officials are having to wait until the shutdown ends.

The Associated Press reported the national union representing 10000 air traffic controllers sued the government Friday, claiming they are illegally being denied pay.