Airports in East say increase in TSA sick calls not affecting them

Local

Airports across the country have seen an increase in call-outs by TSA agents due to the government shutdown, but airports in eastern Carolina say they have not been affected.

“No, we hadn’t seen any effect with our TSA staffing,” said Andy Shorter, Coastal Carolina Regional Airport director. “What I tell people is that our TSA staff live and work here locally. They’re part of the community, so they have an invested interest in the airport as part of the community as it working and operating. ” 

Shorter said his TSA workers really understand the value of a small-town airport. 

Over the weekend, North Carolina airports reported call outs had increased by 10 percent on average. 

The TSA said on Tuesday it experienced 5 percent unscheduled absences nationwide compared to a 3.9 percent rate this time last year. 

Shorter believes this current TSA call outs won’t affect how airports contribute to the economy. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation released their North Carolina The State of Aviation: What Aviation Means to our Economy January 2019. You can view the report here.

North Carolina’s public airports annually contribute $52 billion to the state’s economy, supporting 307,000 jobs that generate $12.6 billion in personal income and $2.2 billion in state and local tax revenues.

“Here locally we do $362 million a year is our share of that which represents over 2,100 jobs. This is a huge economic engine here in this community,” said Shorter. 

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