Shutdown Showdown Impacting Charlotte Air Traffic Controllers, TSA, Other Organizations

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – We’re learning more about the impact the Shutdown Showdown is having on people in Charlotte.

“Obviously the frustration is building,” explains Charlotte air traffic controller Anthony Schifano.

He’s one of around 150 air traffic control employees at Charlotte-Douglas Airport impacted by the government shutdown.

“Put yourself in that situation, you know, where you come to work, and you’re working everyday and you come in one day and your paycheck says zero on it,” Schifano says.

Right now, he’s in Washington, D.C. lobbying members of Congress in his role as President of the Charlotte National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

He says while safety remains top priority, they’re working without support staff who monitor quality control.

“Those individuals are now on furlough because they’re called non-essential, right? They’re essential to us, they’re essential to making sure we do our job well,” Schifano says.

Some local organizations are also preparing for what to do if the shutdown continues.

That includes Safe Alliance, which helps domestic violence and sexual assault victims and runs an emergency hotline.

“It is about a fifth of our budget, so it’s significant for us,” explains President and CEO Karen Parker.

She plans to keep the hotline open no matter what happens, but hopes community partners will step up and donors will give money earlier this year.

“Just trying to put some backup and some contingency plans in place so we can make sure we can continue operating,” Parker says.