TSA agents keep strong attendance at QC International Airport amid government shutdown

MOLINE, Illinois -  As the longest government shutdown in United States history continues, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Quad City International Airport are feeling the impact.

Leaders now have a growing concern about the effects that this shutdown could have on the airport, if it carries on much longer.

Across the nation, the number of TSA agents calling-off of work is on the rise.

On January 16, the TSA reported that 6% of agents called out, compared to 5% the year before.

A press release form the TSA said more agents are calling off because of "financial limitations."

At the Quad City International Airport, absences have not yet been a problem.

"No Call-outs! Everyone was able to make it into work and do it with a smile," said Executive Director of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority, Ben Leischner. "The next pay period is this weekend, so I think that is where it is really going to start to compound."

Leischner says that at some point, TSA agents will be forced to make some really tough decisions.

"As the director of the airport, I get kind of worried thinking about the sustainability (of the government shutdown)," said Leischner. "If we loose the ability to screen passengers and integrate with the rest of the national transportation system, it is going to eventually lead to some level of shutdown for air transportation for the rest of the country."

Still though, the TSA agents in Moline are showing up to work with good attitudes, according to flyers at the airport.

Lines are short, and according to the TSA, in most the nation passengers are waiting less than 30 minutes in nearly 100% of the cases.

97% of passengers are waiting less than 15 minutes and passengers with TSA Pre-Check are waiting even less.

Still though, leaders at the airport still advise passengers to arrive at least 90 minutes before take-off to ensure ample time getting through security.

President Trump signed legislation into law Wednesday, affirming that the roughly 800,000 federal workers who have been going without pay will ultimately be compensated for their lost wages.

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