>> Down, let me here you, end this shutdown->> Today.>> Air traffic controllers took their frustrations to Capitol Hill Thursday, saying security and safety could be jeopardized, if the nearly three-week-old government shutdown doesn't end soon.>> Real people, real consequences.>> Thousands of workers who staff control towers and security lines have been working with no pay, since the start of the stalemate over President Trump's demand for a border wall.
Union leader Paul Rinaldi says, the shutdown is placing enormous strain on the entire system.>> As this continues to go on, the layers of safety are being reduced into our airspace system for no reason whatsoever.>> The union says, their workforce had already been running at a 30-year low.
The shutdown only adding to the strain. David Shepherdson has the story.>> The main concern there is, if controllers opted to use collectively their unused sick time and a large number have stopped showing up for work. That could force the FAA to take dramatic action. So if there were fewer controllers, the FAA would essentially operate much like it does with thunderstorms or bad weather.
>> The FAA could resort to increasing the intervals between takeoffs and landings, to ensure safety. That would ripple throughout the system and cause delays, potentially, throughout the entire United States.>> The FAA has also had to suspend many safety operations, conducting fewer inspections and investigations due to inadequate staffing.
And the shut down is taking a human toll.>> Why? Because you cannot expect a workforce to come for work and do their job, when they have to be concerned about the safety and security of their own families.>> Air traffic controllers, working unpaid during the government shutdown have been posting their $0 pay-stubs on Twitter.
Transportation security administration TSA, is also facing problems among its 51,000 workers. Their union saying some have already quit. TSA officials acknowledge a small rise in workers taking unscheduled leave. But say passenger, security and wait times have not been affected. This as President Trump flies to the US-Mexico border to demand congress pass a budget to pay for a wall, he says is necessary to deal with a humanitarian and security crisis.