Government shutdown impact being felt at San Jose airport

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- With the ongoing partial government shutdown, many federal workers such as TSA agents and air traffic controllers are now working without pay. At Bay Area airports Friday, some passengers were concerned about how much of an impact the shutdown would have on their travel plans.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Fremont resident Debra Maxfield, who arrived at Mineta San Jose International about two-and-a-half hours before a domestic flight. "I'd rather just be in there sitting down and relaxing, versus worrying about trying to get into the security check."

RELATED: Pilots worry national shortage puts passengers in danger

As of Friday afternoon, there have been no major delays at TSA security checkpoints in San Jose. The same goes for both Oakland and San Francisco airports where security screeners are being paid under a private contract.

Mineta San Jose spokesperson Rosemary Barnes says passengers should still build in some extra time to be safe.

"We have air traffic controllers here, we have TSA screeners, we have our customs officials. They're continuing to show up. They're continuing to do the job to support our travelers," said Barnes.

Nationally, there are concerns as to whether or not TSA employees who are currently working without pay may start calling out sick. Officials at Miami International had to close down a terminal Friday morning because of a staffing shortage.

RELATED: Government shutdown impacting air traffic controllers

"You can only give so much of yourself, before you start to feel that burn out, especially without pay living in such an expensive area like Silicon Valley," said Santa Clara resident Elizabeth Lambert.

Local air traffic controllers say the longer the shutdown, the more likely it is for the public to start seeing potential problems.

"Our air traffic control facilities are working with a glorified skeleton crew," said J.T. Lenhart, a local union representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "We haven't had any safety issues, but to control the complexity, that could start flight delays and flight cancellations."

Check out more stories and videos about the government shutdown.
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