How The Government Shutdown Has Affected The TSA

Government shutdown could affect Super Bowl ads, travel

The partial government could have an unintended or unrealized consequence when you’re watching the Super Bowl next month.

Since the Federal Communications Commission has suspended most of its operations earlier this month due to the shutdown, companies can’t get products approved right now. 

FCC shutdown notice by on Scribd

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If the shutdown isn’t ended soon, the new devices that would have been advertised during the big game will not be hitting the market. 

The FCC cannot approve new smartphones, tablets and routers, legal news website Law360 and CNBC reported.

This could affect companies who plan to introduce new tech in the first quarter of the year, according to CNBC.

Last year, companies like Verizon, T-Mobile, Netflix and Sprint paid millions of dollars for advertising time during the football championship game, CNBC reported.

As the shutdown affects filings for new technology, the work stoppage may also affect travel plans for those trying to get to Atlanta if the shutdown stretches into February. 

Crowds are expected to swell to 100,000 to 115,000 people passing through TSA checkpoints the day after the game at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The TSA officials said there will be an additional 120 officers and 12 extra K-9 teams working at the airport.

Atlanta’s mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called the combination of the shutdown and the Super Bowl “uncharted territory,” The Associated Press reported.

Bottoms said that the city is “preparing as best we can from our vantage point.”

She continues to encourage travelers to give themselves extra time to get through security and deal with long lines as TSA agents call off sick. They have been calling off almost double the rate compared to non-shutdown periods, the AP reported.

>>From our Washington Insider, Jamie Dupree: TSA: “Financial limitations” causing airport screeners not to show up for work

The TSA had 7 percent of its workforce off sick Monday compared to 2.5 percent this time last year, according to the AP.

>>Read: Atlanta airport security lines more than an hour long amid federal shutdown

Monday was the first day after workers did not receive a paycheck since the shutdown happened. Some security lines were closed due to lack of staffing and travelers waited more than an hour to get through security, the AJC reported. Some travelers missed flights due to the long line, the newspaper reported.

Travelers wait in line for TSA checkpoints at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Photo: Kelly Yamanouchi / AJC

“Certainly there are factors that we don’t control such as what’s happening with our federal government shutdown and with the long TSA lines,” Bottoms said. “We are continuing to encourage people to get to the airport very early.”

CNN reported Wednesday that there was such a backlog for travelers at security checkpoints that TSA officers from other locations had to be flown to Atlanta to fill staffing positions.

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