Yeager Airport director praises federal employees’ dedication during shutdown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Wednesday marked day 33 of the government shutdown and federal employees are bracing for a second paycheck being missed.

Those federal employees include Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at Yeager Airport in Charleston, as the airport is the headquarters to TSA in the Mountain State.

Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre (left).

Yeager Airport Director Terry Sayre said the airport operations is not feeling an impact of the shutdown but it is because of the dedication of the employees.

“For right now, they are working for free,” he said. “They are great people. We get along with everyone for TSA. As Yeager Airport is the main headquarters for the TSA statewide, we know all these people personally and hate to see them go through that. They are all dedicated employees that show up here and work hard to keep everyone safe.”

Some airports and federal employment places have started to see employees call off, simply because they cannot afford to get to work. Sayre said that was not been an issue at Yeager.

“We are happy about that,” he said. “We are glad to have them working. We are glad to have the FAA air traffic control tower and the tech ops people working here to help keep all the systems running and keep everyone safe as they fly in and out of Yeager.”

In the latest numbers on Yeager Airport’s website, the airport saw around 450,000 passengers in 2015 and handled more than 1.5 million pounds of air cargo in 2016. Sayre told MetroNews that during a conference call on Tuesday that there was some indication among officials that starting next week, some of the larger airports might see some problems.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin spoke to TSA workers at Yeager Airport on Friday, Jan. 11., giving them praise and extending a helping hand from his office for anything they need. Manchin said there are around 18,000 federal employees in West Virginia being affected by the shutdown and 800,000 federal employees in the United States.

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