Among projects affected by the “stop work orders” issued by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) are US $370m (£227m) in contracts with Jacobs Engineering. The company is contracted to provide all the architect, design, engineering and planning services for existing and future air traffic facilities.
The FAA has also issued dozens of other “stop work orders” for major projects designed to build and modernise control towers and other aviation infrastructure.
“Construction workers across America will lose their jobs and local communities will be hurt the longer this goes on. Congress needs to pass an FAA bill to prevent further economic damage,” said transportation secretary Ray LaHood. “This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.”
“Unless Congress acts quickly, more work on projects critical to our nation’s aviation system will come to a halt. Work is stopping on construction and planning projects, NextGen system testing, and airport certification. The list goes on and on and this is just the beginning,” said FAA administrator Randy Babbitt.
Construction workers, engineers and planners were told not to come to sites across the country after the FAA was forced to issue stop work orders on projects ranging from the construction of new air traffic control towers to the rehabilitation and modernisation of air traffic facilities. Nearly 4,000 FAA personnel were put on unpaid leave on Saturday. Stopping work on these projects could significantly increase the ultimate costs of construction for taxpayers, warned the FAA.
Some of the projects affected include construction of new air traffic control towers at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and at Palm Springs International Airport.