DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of airport security officers and air traffic controllers showed up for work again Tuesday with no sign they will be paid any time soon.
TSA officers are continuing to be ordered to work at airports without pay during what’s become the longest government shutdown in history.
The agency insists that its officers are not calling in sick in high numbers and that security checkpoint lines are not longer at airports like DFW Airport because of it.
DFW Airport’s maximum wait time is 25 minutes according to TSA which is fifth among U.S. airports.
Dallas Love Field is second with a maximum wait time of 41 minutes.
About 7 percent of TSA officers were absent on Monday compared to 2-and-a-half percent one year ago.
Travelers told CBS 11 they took precautions and arrived extra early expecting to wait, but were pleasantly surprised.
“It’s been smooth sailing so far,” said Ginger Smith of Colleyville.
“They did say get here 2 1/2 hours early and there’s no line,” said Marni Benson of Dallas.
Some arriving passengers said other airports are a struggle to get out of.
Vincent Jackson of Fort Worth said, “Oh my God, LA is a madhouse LA and Phoenix, it took me hours to get through checkpoints. Here it’s still kind a decent.”
Meantime, air traffic controller Nick Daniels told CBS 11 regarding the shutdown, “It’s gone beyond just been frustrating at this point. It’s gone to the point where now it’s scary. It’s scary for a coworker it’s scary for our families.”
Daniels said his job is already high stress without the added anxiety of supporting his family including a 1-year-old child during the government shutdown.
“I’ve been on the phone at least three hours this morning between my mortgage company and my wife with our bank it’s very frustrating,” he said.
The veteran controller said his colleagues are still showing up for work but he says the government shutdown is slowly eroding the air traffic system.
That’s because essential support staff is furloughed and implementing new safety technology has been delayed.