FAA Recalls Furloughed Inspectors to Address Air Safety Concerns

"We are recalling inspectors and engineers to perform duties to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace," the Federal Aviation Administration announced Jan. 15 in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration is bringing thousands of furloughed employees back to work as the partial government shutdown continues, the agency announced Jan. 15.

"We are recalling inspectors and engineers to perform duties to ensure continuous operational safety of the entire national airspace," the agency said in a statement. "We proactively conduct risk assessment, and we have determined that after three weeks, it is appropriate to recall inspectors and engineers."

According to reporting by Reuters, the agency is calling back a total of 1,700 aviation safety inspectors. By the end of the week, the FAA said it will have 2,200 aviation safety inspectors at work, an increase from 500 last week.

In total, by the end of the week the agency plans to have 3,100 aviation safety employees at work as part of its safety efforts. After the recall, 14,000 of the 44,000 FAA employees will remain furloughed. FAA employees are currently working without pay.

The agency's announcement followed concerns about the impact of the ongoing shutdown on the safety of the U.S. air travel system from unions representing aviation safety inspectors and air traffic controllers, according to a report in The New York Times.

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