I have good news for all of our employees who were furloughed as a result of the Federal Aviation Administration's lapse in funding this summer--you'll soon receive back pay for the time you were forced off the job.
During the partial shutdown from July 23, 2011 through August 5, 2011, nearly 4,000 FAA professionals were left unable to work and without a paycheck. And restoring these lost wages to our hardworking employees has been one of my top priorities.
Under provisions of the FAA extension passed by Congress in August, we'll be able to do just that. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has authorized payments from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and affected employees will receive compensation in their next paychecks on October 18th.
This is sure to be a relief to the hundreds of FAA employees I've had the pleasure of speaking with over the last few months at town hall meetings from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Anchorage, Alaska.
For these folks, like so many families across America, a single missed paycheck can be a huge burden in these tough economic times. So I'm thrilled to finally be able to make this situation right for them.
America has the best aviation system in the world. And the reason we're the best is because we have the best working for us at the FAA. So many thanks to all of the dedicated professionals who show up to work every day to make flying safe and efficient for the American public.