Mr. Stanton's statement, as submitted for the record:
"Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing today to examine the impacts to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the recent 35-day partial government shutdown. I want to thank each of the witnesses for being here today and for sharing with us some of the impacts that resulted from the shutdown.
The government shutdown impacted 800,000 federal workers across the country and had an $11 billion impact on our economy according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The shutdown not only impacted air traffic controllers who worked long hours without pay, it also halted safety inspections and many other critical functions the FAA is charged with to keep our air system safe, secure, and efficient. The shutdown also had a ripple effect that extended beyond that to airlines, general aviation, airports, manufacturers, and passengers.
Last year, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport hit a record for the number of passengers it served, more than 44.9 million, a 2.3 percent increase compared to 2017. And the Mesa Gateway Airport also saw a record setting year for passengers. To keep these passengers on the move and the air system running as it should, our federal employees from air traffic controllers to Customs officials to security screeners are vital and without them, everything would come to a halt.
As someone who travels every week by air, I am thankful for the dedicated service of our federal employees during the very difficult and challenging time of the shutdown. They performed admirably, and I appreciate the community in my state for coming together to support them. They should not have had to go through this and it is important we look for solutions to prevent this situation from happening again. It is vital that the FAA be able to function without interruption to ensure the safety of our air system and those passengers traveling through our nation’s airports, like Sky Harbor and Mesa Gateway.
I want to thank the Chairman DeFazio and Chairman Larsen for the proposal they have advanced - the Aviation Funding Stability Act - which I support and have cosponsored, to make sure the FAA is funded during a government shutdown by allowing it to tap the resources in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. This would allow the FAA to keep operations funded and make sure our dedicated federal employees are paid for their work. We shouldn’t have to resort to this type of legislation, but it is clear we need to find a reasonable way forward should we ever be faced with another government shutdown.
Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this important hearing and for our witnesses here today."