While the U.S. government shutdown continues to hamstring airlines, some aviation workers are being called back to work.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Tuesday that 800 inspectors will resume work this week after being furloughed on Oct.1. The FAA has furloughed all 3,000 of its airline, maintenance and aircraft inspectors. While some inspectors are combing back, the FAA’s aircraft registry won’t reopen, preventing airlines like AMR‘s (AAMRQ) American Airlines and discount carrier JetBlue (JBLU) from taking delivery of new jets, Bloomberg notes.
In fact, the registry’s closure could block plane sales worth $1.5 billion to a variety of owners. The head of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association has called the registry shutdown a threat to “our economic recovery and our ability to provide good, high-paying jobs at a time when the industry is making a comeback.”
Though the recalled inspectors were initially declared “non-essential” employees, and thus subject to being furloughed during the government shutdown, the FAA says it will adjust its staff based on safety risks.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines (LUV) said that the shutdown has not interrupted aircraft maintenance in its fleet. However, Boeing (BA) reports that some aircraft deliveries have been halted.
The government shutdown, now in its second week, is the result of a showdown between the White House and congressional Republicans over GOP efforts to tie funding bills to delays in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.