Pilots Association Skewers Trump For Leaving U.S. Open To Terrorist Attacks


The federal government remains partially shutdown at present, and President Donald Trump’s complete dismissal of familiar standards culminated in him recently declaring he was ready to have the shutdown continue for years if he doesn’t get what he wants. Captain Joe DePete, who serves as president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, has joined those calling for Trump to give up on the political showmanship and let the government get back to work.

In a letter dated last week, DePete outlined a number of concerns weighing on the airline travel industry thanks to the partial government shutdown.

He insists:

‘The nation’s airspace system is a complex transportation network that involves government and industry partnerships to function properly, and the disruptions being caused by the shutdown are threatening the safe operations of this network.’

As he explains, although there are still some individuals from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Safety Administration on the job, their work is being impacted both by the absence of some of their colleagues and the pressure wrought by the continuing prospect of no pay for their work.

There have been reports that TSA staff on hand at the nation’s airports have been dwindling as they find themselves simply unable to afford to get to work without any pay, and full FAA staffs of safety inspectors are indefinitely unavailable under the shutdown. The issue mirrors one that’s emerged in the country’s network of national parks, since search and rescue staff members have dwindled although it’s not as though dangers have vanished. At least three people have died in national parks since the shutdown began.

DePete also outlines more specific concern, explaining that the implementation of the new so-called Data Communications program, which has not yet been fully incorporated into operations, has been essentially placed on hold since there’s no longer apparently anyone on hand to direct it. DePete projects that even after the shutdown ends, the program will likely face delays as involved parties have to pick up the pieces and essentially start from square one.

He also mentions the ongoing effort to address drones using airspace across the U.S. that has also essentially been put on hold thanks to the shutdown. Just last month, a Boeing 737 landing in Tijuana, Mexico, suffered significant in-flight damage that may have been caused by a collision with a drone shortly before landing.

Trump has not yet proven keen on hearing out any concerns about the shutdown, preferring to make baseless assertions like that most affected government workers would be behind his efforts to construct a border wall if asked.

Just to be clear, undocumented border crossings continue their overall downward historical trend, and there is essentially no reason to take immigrants as some kind of special security threat. There remains no evidence of terrorists focusing on crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, and the crime that is occasionally associated with immigrants via means like the MS-13 gang grows up in the United States.

Still, this is the second time that Trump has shutdown the government over his demands for “border security,” and there remains essentially no sign of light on the horizon at present.

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