‘There is no oversight of the industry right now,’ local aviation safety inspector says

New Delhi, January 11, 2019:  A local aviation safety inspector and an air traffic controller are speaking out about the massive impact of the partial federal government shutdown.

“There is no oversight of the industry right now,” Laennec Ratard, a local aviation safety inspector, said.

Ratard said federal inspectors like him come to airports like Louis Armstrong International Airport when needed.

They serve as an extra layer of security, which for now is not present.

“Your airline mechanic is waking up going to work and doing his inspections without oversight. They don’t have an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) counterpart making sure that everything is being done properly,” Ratard said.

While Ratard can’t go to work, Scott Martinez, an air traffic controller at the airport, can according to wdsu.com.

“The immediate issue is lack of pay. The long-term,lasting issue is the lack of training,” Martinez said.

Martinez said due to the shutdown they cannot hire any new air traffic controllers or train any of their recent hires.

“The impact of the shutdown on our support and our ability to train will likely reduce efficiency and that will potentially cause delays,” Martinez said.

WDSU reached out to Louis Armstrong International Airport officials for comment and has not heard back.

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