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Though the federal government has seen a partial shutdown for the last few weeks, employees of many of the nation’s federal security agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, have remained on the job and primarily working without pay. This includes the thousands of uniformed TSA officers staffing the security checkpoints at the nation’s 440 commercial airports.

Many of these officers, some of whom are designated as part-time employees, work long hours for relatively average wages. It is a testament to their dedication and professionalism, and the pride they take in their jobs, that they’ve remained at their assigned posts so steadfastly in the face of a potential loss of income that could be financially devastating to more than a few of them should the shutdown continue.

TSA administrators and leaders have assured these officers they’ll receive all back pay due them, once the shutdown ends, but at this time no one in a leadership position in the federal government can say just when that might be. Add in the increasingly corrosive effect on employee morale the shutdown is no doubt causing and it’s difficult to imagine TSA’s effectiveness will not suffer to one degree or another the longer the government shutdown goes on.

Here’s to hoping a resolution to the issues which led to the shutdown will soon be resolved so that these TSA officers and other members of that agency can focus on keeping the nation’s transportation system and its supporting infrastructure as safe as possible.

Kelly Hoggan Aviation Security Footer