Local aviation safety inspector on shutdown: ‘There is no oversight of the industry right now’

New Delhi, January 12, 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,including him, come to airports, including Louis Armstrong New Orleans 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 according to wdsu.com.

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

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

Martinez said that 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 contacted airport officials for comment and has not heard back.

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