NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Nearly 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees and tens of thousands of construction workers have been off the job since July 22, when Congress let an extension of the FAA budget expire.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller In Queens

That put a stop to modernization projects at the nation’s airports.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that they’re losing precious time at the height of construction season.

This is all because the showdown over the debt ceiling has left other items on the back burner in Washington.

“It is not fair to the 70,000 construction workers who need these jobs. It is not fair to the FAA employees,” said LaHood on Monday.

FAA administrator Randy Babbitt says that forty New Yorkers got a “stop to work” order to demolish the old air traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport.

“It makes absolutely no sense that we leave a block to the line of sight between the critical taxiways and what the controllers are looking at from the tower,” said Babbitt. “These improvements are critical to the modernization of our air traffic control system all across the country.”


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