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Here We Go Again: Federal Budget Standoff Will Affect GA

October 1, 2013 - Congress and the White House are continuing their standoff over the federal budget, forcing a partial government shutdown - a situation that will affect general aviation and pilots throughout the country.

There will be furloughs at FAA Headquarters and at sites throughout the country, including the agency's medical certification office in Oklahoma City. That could mean additional delays in such areas as certificate, authorization, and registration issuances, inspections, check rides, aircraft certifications, and other items that require individual handling through the FAA.

If you are working with an individual Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or other FAA field office, it would be wise to call ahead to see if the office will be open when you want to meet with FAA staff there.

Personnel deemed essential such as air traffic controllers will remain on duty during a partial government shutdown. However, national parks have been closed and customs officials may not be available at more remote locations. Be sure to call ahead and coordinate your arrival ahead of time.

"Even without commenting on the politics of the situation, these budget standoffs do have effects on the GA community and individual aviators," said Sean Elliott, EAA's vice president of safety and advocacy. "Both aviators and the FAA are among those caught in the middle of this conflict. We urge the differences be resolved so the services required by pilots and aircraft owners can be resumed to normal operations as quickly as possible."

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