DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An air traffic controllers from DFW Airport resigned as a result of the government shutdown.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association confirmed the news and now warns flights will be grounded as early as next week if they are forced to continuing to work without pay.
The parking lot outside the DFW Airport radar room shows the dedication of air traffic controller’s who continue coming to work without pay.
But on Thursday, the President of the Fort Worth chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association revealed to CBS 11 that controllers in charge of preventing collisions in midair and on runways are not operating at 100 percent.
Nick Daniels describes morale inside the radar center as non existent because of extra workload caused by the absence of FAA employees who have been furloughed despite having essential jobs.
The Federal Aviation Administration tweeted a message Thursday that the nationals airspace system is safe.
But Daniels believes that’s not true.
“They are not operating at 100 percent and that they are missing things that they normally would not miss,” said Daniels. “That they would come in and be laser focused on their jobs and because they are not, that is absolutely putting more risk into this system.”
The controllers aren’t counting the days since the government shutdown began.
They are counting the hours because they’ve had 160 without any pay.
“While we are sounding the alarm unfortunately we have the front seat to watching this unravel and crumble and we need somebody to hear and listen,” said Daniels.
(Editor’s note: CBS 11 was originally told two air traffic controllers had resigned from the Addison Airport as well, but that was not the case.)