Just when you thought the US government shutdown couldn’t have any more consequences, it appears as though part of Miami Airport is now slated to close. This comes as the shutdown was officially recognised as the longest in history. While many government employees have been “furloughed”, essential staff such as TSA workers are still required to go to work. Why does this matter? Because these essential staff are not being paid for the work they’re doing. As such many staff are having to make difficult decisions about how to spend their time.
Concourse G Closed
This weekend, concourse G at Miami Airport will close at 1 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The area has 15 gates. These gates serve a number of carriers including United Airlines. The reason for the closure is a shortage of security screeners.
This has been indirectly caused by the US Government shutdown. Rather than having less staff on each terminal, the airport has taken the decision to close one terminal completely and redistribute staff. As such, all flights which would usually concourse G during this time will instead depart from concourses H and F.
In a statement, Miami Airport’s operators said: “As a precautionary measure due to uncertainties created by the lapse in federal government funding, some passengers at Miami International Airport may experience changes to their security checkpoint and departure gate this weekend. MIA does not anticipate any significant impacts to flight schedules or the passenger experience from any gate changes.”
Why Is The Airport Short Of Essential Staff?
You may be asking why Miami Airport is expecting itself to be short staffed if TSA personnel are essential. While they are required to continue working, these staff are not receiving a paycheque with any value. In fact, just this week, a number of government employees received their paycheque made out to the value of $0.00. As such, the workers don’t want to come in if they’re not being paid.
One TSA worker at Philadelphia Airport told CNN that he had to choose between paying for petrol to drive to work and paying to put food on the table. This is a choice that many workers have had to face, especially those who have a longer commute. According to an airport statement given to the Miami Herald, TSA screeners were calling in sick at double the usual rate during the government shutdown. In fact, Simple Flying has learnt that some employees have been forced to quit as a result of the shutdown.
Have you been affected by the government shutdown? Let us know in the comments down below.