XNA Feeling Effects Of Government Shutdown

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- The government shutdown has caused staffing shortages LaGuardia airport in New York City causes cancellations at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

With president trump’s announcement of a temporary solution, we don’t know if staffing issues will continue at airports.

Multiple flights go in and out of XNA to LGA each day and some of those were delayed today and others were canceled.

Raymond Chavez is heading to Arizona to visit family. He started receiving texts early this morning their flight would be delayed causing them to leave three hours late. He said he doesn’t know if their delay was due to the shutdown.

“I’m just thankful for the TSA workers that are showing up and appreciate their jobs and it’s very tough times for them, so I appreciate the hard work that they are putting in,” he said.

Air traffic controllers calling in sick to LaGuardia Friday morning caused long delays and cancellations. With the government reopening hopefully, they will return to work not causing more delays as people return home at the end of the weekend.

“I’m a little bit worried but we heading on vacation, so it’s not a bad deal to be stuck where you are vacationing.”

COO and airport director Kelly Johnson said when there aren’t enough air traffic controllers in the control tower to safely operate they will slow the flow in and out of the airport.

She said they have been fortunate to have not seen these issues at XNA.

“I’ve got to give these guys a lot of kudos and thanks and gratitude because they have come to work every day. We haven’t seen the call-ins for sick. We haven’t seen any of the things that have gone on in some of the other communities. So we are really blessed to have such a good group of dedicated professionals here in Northwest Arkansas,” she said.

Johnson said the number of people wanting to help these workers who haven’t been paid in 35 days has been wonderful…

“Restaurants calling feeding these folks, gift card drives, people coming up to the curb that have bought things at Sam’s and dropping them off. It’s just been incredible. I’m so glad to live in this community. They are so well represented, and they really do appreciate what these people have done.”

While the government is back open for now these TSA workers still won’t be receiving the paycheck they should’ve gotten today.

Johnson thinks it will likely be next week when they get their back pay.

If you would like to help out the TSA workers, we have a list of things they are in need of.

  • Shampoo
  • Body Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Razors
  • Hair Spray
  • Aspirin
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Dish Detergent
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Dog and Cat Food
  • Chicken Feed
  • Trash Bags
  • Plastic Bags and Wrap
  • Aluminum Foil
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