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As Shutdown Continues, Airport Plans to Close Terminal

Because too many TSA workers are calling in sick
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2019 4:05 PM CST
Transportation Security Administration employees work at a security check point at LaGuardia Airport in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – As TSA screeners call in sick at twice the usual rate amid the ongoing government shutdown, Miami International Airport plans to close one of its terminals this weekend so that the screeners who are still showing up to work, sans pay, can be sent to busier checkpoints, the Miami Herald reports. The security checkpoint at Terminal G, used by United Airlines and several smaller carriers, will close at 1pm Saturday. It will open for morning flights on Sunday, and then close again at 1pm. That schedule is expected to be in force on Monday, as well. Airport spokesman Greg Chin tells the Herald that the TSA is “erring on the side of caution.” Aircraft will still be able to arrive and deplane at the terminal, he says.

The New York Times notes that, so far, the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, hasn’t wrought any major disruptions for air travelers. But there are concerns that that will change if the shutdown continues. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents some 44,000 TSA officers, has sued the federal government for forcing workers to work without pay, Salon reports. And an official from that union says some workers have quit or are thinking about quitting, creating “a massive security risk for American travelers.” On Friday, the union that represents more than 10,000 air traffic controllers also filed a lawsuit against President Trump and the FAA for making its members work without pay, per Bloomberg. (Read more government shutdown stories.)

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