With the longest shutdown in U.S. history officially over, here’s a look at how the federal government will get back to regular business:
WILL AIR TRAVELERS GET A BREAK SOON?
The shutdown had become a source of growing alarm for travelers and airlines. The absence rate among airport screeners peaked at 10 percent last weekend, meaning longer lines. On Friday, the absence of six air traffic control workers contributed to massive delays along the East Coast. LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey were particularly affected, and delays rippled outward from there — about 3,000 late flights by midafternoon.
The end of the shutdown should relieve those problems. That said, the Transportation Security Administration has emphasized that the large majority of passengers haven’t suffered from the shutdown. The TSA said that only 3.7 percent of travelers screened Wednesday — or about 65,000 people — waited 15 minutes or longer.
THE SMITHSONIAN and National zoo
The Smithsonian tweeted that all of its museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 29 at their regularly scheduled times.
Many remained open during the shutdown, but at reduced staffing levels. Theresa Pierno, president and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association, said some parks suffered “terrible damage” during the shutdown. One of the first jobs for park workers will be to assess that damage.
“The damage done to our parks will be felt for weeks, months or even years,” she said.
P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service, said “the National Park Service is preparing to resume regular operations nationwide though the schedule for individual parks may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations.
“Many parks which have been accessible throughout the lapse in appropriations remain accessible with basic services,” he said. “Visitors should contact individual parks or visit park websites for their opening schedules and the latest information on accessibility and visitor services. Some parks which have been closed throughout the lapse in appropriations may not reopen immediately, but we will work to open all parks as quickly as possible.”
Photo Credit: Airline passengers enter the main security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on May 30, 2016. Travelers who had braced for long lines and long waits were instead moving through most U.S. airports fairly quickly Monday, as the busy Memorial Day travel weekend drew to a close. TSA workers are now returning to work after the U.S. government shutdown. Kathleen Foody / Associated Press